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ICC Women’s World Cup 2022: Mithali Raj wants top-order to take more responsibility

If you don’t perform, you don’t get your chances: Ramesh Powar

ICC Women’s World Cup 2022: Mithali Raj wants top-order to take more responsibility (©BCCI)
Mithali Raj wants top-order to take more responsibility (©BCCI)

The women in blue play 5 ODIs against New Zealand as preparation before commencement of World Cup on 4th march 2022.

India women’s captain Mithali Raj along with coach Ramesh Powar held a virtual press conference on Saturday, January 23 addressing the recent changes in the squad as well as the overall preparation and mindset before the big tournament.

One of the top-order must take responsibility to guide team to challenging score: Mithali Raj

India who came runners up in the 2017 edition will be looking to do one better this time around. Mithali cited consistency in batting performances to reach a score of 250+ runs as key to their success.

The India captain said, “Firstly, I think if we have to visit the 2017 World Cup where the team did well, the team put up a score of 250-270 consistently is because there was at least one top-order bat who played through the innings and the rest of them revolved around her. So, it is important that the top order - one of them - takes the responsibility of playing through the innings and there has to be a partnership or two of 50-plus.”

“So, that you know if we get to play more, the top order contributes. I think that way we would be able to score 250-270. It is very rarely that the middle-order or the lower middle-order scores the bulk of the runs, so it is important that as a batting unit, all of us take the responsibility of playing our roles," she added.

The captain-coach duo also spoke about mindset being a key determinant and made a special mention regarding a 5-day preparatory camp held before the tour.

Mithali stated, “For me it was not the first of its kind that I have been part of. For most of the members of the team, it was their first time. Because it was not a skill camp, there was more opportunity to know your teammate on a personal level; that helps when you have a long tour ahead, two months with the bilateral and the World Cup, so, I think these learnings will help us as a team going forward.”

If you don’t perform, you don’t get your chances: Ramesh Powar

A lot of questions were geared towards the constant chop and change in the women’s team after recent exclusions of Punam Raut, Shikha Pandey and Jemimah Rodrigues from the bilateral and WC squads.

Powar, speaking on the same said, “Every player knows. Whoever is not in the team knows why they are not there. That communication from, say captain, coach, selectors - it is not a one-time communication; it has been on for a long period of time - at least last six months, I was very clear about the roles. I told them, specifically, what is expected out of them, at the end of it this is a competition, a competitive position, so you have to perform. If you don't perform, you don't get your chances.”

Both Powar and Mithali backed the team selection stating that although recent changes include a few inexperienced players, they are confident based on their recent form and performances in the recently held Australia series as well as the domestic circuit that it will be a positive addition to the team. Quick bowler Renuka Singh, allrounder Simran Bahadur and batter Sabbhineni Meghana have been included in the squad with the latter two being named as standbys.

The five-match bilateral ODI series between India and New Zealand beginning February 11, will be crucial game in terms of game-time as well as gaining familiarity of conditions before the World Cup.

The ICC Women's World Cup 2022 begins on March 4 with hosts New Zealand taking on the West Indies in Mount Maunganui and the Final will be played on April 3 at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

India kick off their campaign on March 6 in Mount Maunganui with a day-night game against arch-rivals Pakistan.


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