Mackay: India captain Mithali Raj and head coach Ramesh Powar on Monday listed out their objectives from the ODI series against Australia and said playing the mighty hosts is the best possible preparation for next year’s Women’s World Cup.
Powar, who had spoken about the need for playing fearless cricket following the UK tour in July, said it is high time the team starts scoring 250 consistently to compete with the likes of England and Australia, who are on a record 22-match winning streak in ODIs.
The team also needs to improve in the fast bowling department with veteran Jhulan Goswami not getting enough support from the other end. “Moving towards the World Cup as a group, batting unit, bowling unit, we have set some targets. We want to score consistently over 250. And we are planning towards that.
“In bowling we are trying to get opponents all out so we are trying to use Jhulan Goswami as the experienced bowler who can give us good openings in front and senior players as always, we expect them to guide youngsters and drive the team which they are doing quite well,” said Powar ahead of the series opener on Tuesday.
Mithali, who was the only consistent batter against England with three consecutive fifties, said she could move up to number three from four, like she did in the warm-up game if the other batters are performing as per expectations. “We definitely are looking at the combinations for the World Cup, and we will be giving a little more game time to the players to fit into those roles, that’s our objective in the series, but the main thing definitely is that we are fielding in the best level to win every game. “Playing against the best side before the World Cup, it is the best preparation that we can get,” said Mithali.
On batting at three, Mithali said: “I have been quite flexible with my batting order whether it is number three or number four, but it all depends on the composition of the team. “If we have a good middle order then I push my order up to three. If there is a little more inexperience in the middle order then I push myself to number four. Now with Harman out of the first ODI, I probably have to think about my order.” Mithali also said said the 14-day quarantine in Brisbane was tough on the players but they chose to look at the positive side and kept themselves going with training sessions in the room, zoom meetings and team bonding activities during which the skipper got to know a lot more about her teammates than just their cricketing life.
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