Mithali Raj: 'We have to bring our A-game in every match'

The Indian women's ODI team is keen to perform well at next year's World Cup and will use the tour of Australia to prepare for it, say captain Mithali and coach Ramesh Powar.

Mithali Raj will lead India in a three-match ODI series in Australia next month. - PTI

The Mithali Raj-led women's team is boarding the plane to Australia in a confident frame of mind. India will take on the Aussies in a multi-format series that includes a historic pink-ball Test.

Speaking at an online press conference ahead of the team’s departure, the captain said the Day/Night Test was big for the women’s game and that it would be challenging. “We have never played a Test match under lights,” Mithali said. “(Neither) do we frequently get to play ODIs under lights.”

She added the biggest challenge would be to play the pink ball during the twilight period. “That is the feedback we got from interacting with a few of the men cricketers,” she said. “Let us see how we stand up to the challenge.”

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She said that it was good that India could already play two series in the year. “Having said that, we know we are playing the best side in the world,” she said. “Clearly we have to get our A- game in every match.”

She said the players took the confidence from the practice they had. “Considering the pandemic situation, we were fortunate to have a camp of 30 girls (at Bengaluru),” she said. “We managed to get match simulation and had a couple of games under lights.”

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Seasoned player

About the uncapped pacer, Meghna Singh, coach Ramesh Powar said her experience (on the domestic circuit) could help her in Australia. “She has been a seasoned player for Railways and has been performing well,” he said.

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He hoped pacers like her would support India’s spearhead Jhulan Goswami on the tour. “We need a pacer who could bowl with her in partnership,” he said. “If Jhulan gets support consistently, she would be able to express herself rather than being forced to be a little defensive.”

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