Team not dependent on me completely, but have to get batting unit together: Mithali

Napier: The team does not look on me completely but as an experienced batswoman I do have a responsibility to get the batting unit together to perform, said Indian women’s team ODI captain Mithali Raj on Tuesday.

Keeping aside the difference of opinion with T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur, Mithali said the team is in good form and every individual at some point or other has played a match-winning performance for the team.

“All of us are in good form whether Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur or young Jemimah Rodrigues whose been among the runs. We have got very good middle-order as well in terms of Dayalan Hemalatha and Deepti Sharma, who is an all-rounder. So, overall I think all of them at some point or other has played a match-winning performance for the team,” India ODI captain said.

“All of us are coming from match practices whether it is a domestic season or a couple of girls from the Women’s Big Bash League. We came a week early to get adapted to the conditions. We had a practice game. Girls are in great shape because we had a few outdoor nets and we are looking forward to the series,” Mithali continued.

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The wickets in New Zealand do not tend to turn as much. Being aware of the challenge, Mithali noted that the Indian spinners have always been a strength as they have held the team in different conditions on different tracks.

“Spinners do know how to bowl in the areas if they do not get that much of turn. It will be a challenge for them but that is where experience comes as batters also we negotiate different tracks that is what bowlers will do,” she said.

“Our campaigns be it at the World Cup or T20 World Cup, it has been an away tour. We have played in England conditions, in the Caribbean, now touring New Zealand. Girls have come prepared; most of them though for New Zealand conditions they might be inexperienced otherwise team is an experienced lot who has been together for 4-5 years. I do not think we are troubled tourists. We definitely look forward to acclimatising to the conditions at the earliest so that it does not post that much thread when we take on the field,” Mithali said.

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Following a turbulent end to 2018, falling out with former coach Ramesh Powar and differences with compatriot Harmanpreet, Mithali said cricket has taught her to “move on”, and prepare for next game.

“As professional cricketers, everybody understands what it takes to play at the international level. We are here representing our country in one-dayers and we would want to do our best and want the team to get together play as a unit because that is what it will give us result and what is happened has happened and we should move on. I am definitely looking forward to the series because it is very important to get back the focus on the sport, team performance and this is an opportunity for us,” Mithali concluded.

Indian eves and White Ferns, as the New Zealand team is called, will lock horns for the first ODI on January 24 at Napier, followed by the second match on January 29 at Mount Maunganui and third on February 1 at Hamilton.


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