Mithali Raj says India are right on track with preparation for Cricket World up 2022
Indian captain Mithali Raj, who will soon probably be giving a last shot at winning a World Cup, feels that her side has had good enough preparation in the build up to the event. The 38-year-old added that the team has played some tough cricket in 2021, which has prepared them well for the upcoming Cricket World Cup in New Zealand in 2022.
After not having any cricket for a year post their final appearance at the T20 World Cup in March last year, the Indian cricketers have spent a lot of time on the field since resumption. The team played South Africa at home and went on to tour England and Australia. Before the big event starts, India will also play five ODIs against New Zealand.
“We have played three best teams since March and it has given us good preparation,” Raj was quoted as saying by the PTI from an event for Indian Deaf Cricket Association in Delhi on Wednesday (December 1). Raj has cited that the players taking part on overseas tours and franchise leagues will benefit from their experience. “Players have played domestic cricket and also in the Women’s Big Bash so they are getting game time which is the most important thing. We are getting to play in New Zealand before the World Cup which is also good.”
India has had a roller coaster year in terms of results in 2021. After losing 4-1 and 2-1 against South Africa at home in the ODI and T20I series, India further lost 2-1 in both the white-ball formats in England. The tour of Australia saw them losing 2-0 in the T20Is and 2-1 in ODIs, but the overall performance was better than the England tour.
“When you play against a strong team in its backyard you try to give your best. Though we lost the series, the matches were very close. We scored 270 (274) and chased 270-odd, if we can do that consistently we will be among the best sides in world cricket. We bat as a unit so you can’t pinpoint one area,” she said.
The skipper further spoke about how not putting too much pressure on one specific area can help the team perform as a unit. “There are times when the top order failed and the others performed. As a unit if we look to post a good total then it will help. If we focus on one area like middle order then it becomes too much of a burden for that particular slot,” Raj added.
The Cricket World Cup 2017 in England was quite a landmark tournament for the Indian side. Despite not making it through to the tournament directly, India managed to outperform almost every opposition, ending up being the runners-up. Raj added that how working well as an unit could help them get their hands on the silverware.
“There were not enough expectations back then. Now in 2021, players have got experience and got a lot of exposure with the T20 leagues. Overall we have young players but they have got enough exposure. It is just a matter of gelling well as a team,” Raj concluded.