Former players stumped by Mithali's omission

India crashed out of the World Twenty20 after losing its semifinal clash against England by 8 wickets.

Mithali Raj had scored two fifties in the previous matches of this World T20 tournament.   -  AP Photo

Former India captain and mainstay Mithali Raj spent an agonising three hours in the dug out watching her teammates succumb in the World T20 semifinal against England. After being dropped for the big-ticket clash, which raised a lot of eyebrows, India suffered a dramatic middle-order collapse and was ousted from the World T20.

Where was Mithali missed?

Mithali scored two half-centuries in the tournament — against Pakistan and Ireland — with a strike rate of 119 and 91 respectively. She also shared vital partnerships with the middle and lower order and often stayed till the business end to see the team through.

On Friday, when India lost its last eight wickets for just 23 runs, Mithali's experience was missed. The talismanic batswoman had been a part of big ticket matches in the past — the ODI World Cup final in 2005, 2017, the World T20 semifinals in 2009 and 2010 — and her presence in the middle would have had a calming effect.

Read: No regrets, says Harmanpreet on Mithali Raj’s omission

Also, batting first meant, India was up against some astute England bowling on a pitch that wasn't particularly easy for the batters to get going. Mithali's experience could have come handy here.

India's middle and lower order weren't exactly firing. Veda Krishnamurthy was going through a lean patch and the likes of Harmanpreet Kaur, Jemimah Rodrigues and Taniya Bhatia weren't firing as much as they would have loved to. Dayalan Hemalatha and Deepti Sharma's search for the purple patch was well continuing into the business end of the tournament and Mithali's presence could have worked in India's favour.

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As Sanjay Manjrekar pointed out, India was guilty of playing rash shots. Veda and Harmanpreet went for the big ones and were caught high and dry while Anuja Patil's decision to clear the park off the first ball wasn't exactly the right decision. Hemalatha's power packed drive lacked the required power while Jemimah's lack of concentration did her in.

Harsha Bhogle also underlines Mithali's experience in a crunch game.

Former India player Snehal Pradhan underlined the importance of playing Mithali Raj in the middle order and her absence proved to be costly for India.

Former India batsman Vinod Kambi underlined the batting collapse and congratulated the England team.