Indian captain Mithali Raj feels youngsters like Shafali Verma and Richa Ghosh have shown that they have the ability to compete at the highest level and the last few series have helped the team to figure out its composition ahead of women's ODI World Cup next month.
India tried out some new talents in the series against South Africa, England, Australia and New Zealand ahead of the World Cup beginning on March 4 in New Zealand.
"The talent that we've got in the last year, we've tried some young talent in the squad, and most of them have shown that they have the ability to play at this level like Richa (Ghosh), Shafali (Verma), we have Meghna Singh in the seamers, Pooja Vastrakar," Raj said on the second day of the captains’ opening media conferences.
"They all have been given good game time and those series have really helped them and me as a captain to find out where they fit in into the composition of the team." The veteran batter said that a team needs to have a mix of experience and youth to do well in tournaments.
"We do have an experienced core group from last edition. Most of them, even the young players who recently got into the side, had the opportunity of playing in leagues. That gives them exposure other than bilateral series.
"When you go into big events you depend on experience not just young players. Having both together is a good mix." Preparing for a record sixth appearance at an ICC event, Raj said she is looking to continue her rich vein of form.
"As far as me personally, I am happy with the way that I've been scoring runs, and I would love to continue the form into the World Cup." The India captain said she has advised the players who are set to make their debut in the World Cup to not pile up the pressure and enjoy the big stage.
“The young talent in the side today, I tell them that you don't have the experience of the past World Cups, so it's a clean slate for you, all you have to do is enjoy the big stage," she said.
"I did have a word with Yastika [Bhatia] the other day, I took her out for a coffee and we've spoken quite a bit, she’s a chatty kid and asked me a lot of questions.
"The only advice I would tell the young players is enjoy the big stage because if you pile up the pressure you may not be playing the best that the team and you would want to do in the World Cup." India will begin its world cup campaign against Pakistan on March 6.
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