Use of DRS should be consistent, says Mithali Raj

While the DRS was in effect during India’s tour to New Zealand last month, the home ODI series against England - which concluded on Thursday - did not have such a facility.

Skipper Mithali Raj sets the field during India's match against England eves.   -  Vivek Bendre

India women’s team captain Mithali Raj believes that it is important to be consistent with the use of Decision Review System (DRS) in the ICC Women’s Championships.

While the DRS was in effect during India’s tour to New Zealand last month, the home ODI series against England - which concluded on Thursday - did not have such a facility.

“We would love to have DRS because when it comes to big events like the ICC (Championships), where we have DRS, we need to get a little more experience for the girls to understand the concept of DRS. (Also) how and when to take it,” Mithali said after the third and final ODI.

“We had it (the DRS) in New Zealand, suddenly we don’t have it at home. If it is irregular, it gets difficult for the players to accept a concept like that,” Mithali said.

The India skipper also admitted that ‘it has its own effects.’

“It is good in a way, and it also bad. Some dismissals go your way, but at crucial stages, some dismissals don’t. It’s part of the sport. In perspective of a player, if it is consistently followed, it will be much better for the girls to understand it more clearly,” she said.

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She, however, contradicted herself, claiming that as a skipper it doesn’t matter much to her.

“I have led before DRS also. For me, personally it does not matter because I believe at times you get a caught behind and just get away with it. And sometimes, you don’t even know but you are given out. It is all part of the sport and that makes the matches interesting,” Mithali said.

Despite being in a comfortable spot, India suffered a two-wicket defeat against England in the third ODI to miss out on two crucial points in the ICC Championships.

And Mithali admitted it’s disappointing. “It does play a very important part because, obviously we are not playing Pakistan and we just have one more team that we are still to play (and that) is the West Indies. So in that perspective losing two points against Sri Lanka, South Africa and also in New Zealand (is disappointing),” Mithali said.

“So pretty much in totality we lost eight points when we were in a position to grab those two points in all those series. So it is disappointing but winning against one of the quality sides with full strength gives lot of confidence to this side,” she stated.

In the series, middle-order has been an area of concern for the Indian team. She stressed a bit on that as well.

“Honestly in my opinion, we have only one all-rounder in Deepti Sharma. Jhulan and Shikha are bowlers who can bat, so they pretty much don’t fit into category of all-rounders. And yes, Deepti, we have given her a slot since the New Zealand series, but for whatever reasons she is not being able to deliver in that slot,” Mithali said.

Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami interact after the third ODI against England.   -  Prashant Nakwe

 

“This series, specially on losing out Harmanpreet (Kaur), it was important for us to get an experienced player in the midst of the middle order and rightly so Punam Raut has justified – given one opportunity – both the games she has come good.”

Mithali also heaped praise on Jhulan - the batter. “Jhulan, in the past, has also contributed when given an opportunity to bat. If we had a collapse, (she has stepped in). I personally also had some partnerships some three-years back. It’s just that she does not work much on her batting.”

“As a bowler, it is understandable that she wants to be at the top and wants to give more time to get into a better bowler that she is. She does bring a lot of experience in the squad, whether it is as a bowler or batting in the lower-middle order, trying to get the young girls more exposure,” the India captain said.

Katherine Brunt (right) and Sarah Taylor celebrate the wicket of Smriti Mandhana.   -  Prashanth Nakwe

 

Player of the match Katherine Brunt--who claimed a fifer and chipped in with 18 runs--admitted that with a long tail, the visitor did not have any doubt of chasing a low total.

“It is not the first time it (a middle-order) has happened. It is almost (not shocking) and obviously, we have got Danielle Wyatt, Anya (Shrubsole) and myself--down the order, we can bat for long. So, there was no doubt or disbelief,” Brunt said. “At the end, we were chasing a low total even though it was on a tricky wicket, but there was little doubt that we could do it.”

Brunt, who went wicketless in the first two games, was happy with her match-winning contribution.

“In the first game, I bowled one of my best 8-10 overs in my career so not getting a wicket was disheartening. In the second game, it did not go our way and probably, I tried a bit too hard. Today was more about being relaxed and trusting my skills. It worked out,” Brunt said.