India skipper Mithali Raj in action (Photo/ BCCI Women Twitter)
India skipper Mithali Raj in action (Photo/ BCCI Women Twitter)

Need to work on rotating strike more often, says Mithali

ANI | Updated: Jun 28, 2021 08:28 IST


Bristol [UK], June 28 (ANI): After suffering a defeat in the first ODI of the three-match series against England, India women skipper Mithali Raj said that her side needs to look into rotating the strike more often so that lesser dot balls are played.
Half-centuries from Tammy Beaumont and Natalie Sciver helped England women's team register an easy win over India in the first ODI on Sunday. England defeated India by eight wickets as the hosts chased down the target of 202 runs quite easily to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Batting first, India was able to score just 201/8 with Mitali top-scoring with a knock of 72. The visitors played 181 dot balls in their innings and it resulted in Raj and the team having no momentum throughout their innings.
"Clearly, yes, we need to look into that aspect and work on rotating the strike. Having said that, we require at least another top-order batter, in the top five, to get us the runs. We also need to understand that the England bowlers are very experienced, the seamers especially than the seamers we have. They are bowling in their conditions, they know how to bowl in their conditions, and they really bowled well today, we definitely have to look into rotating the striking aspect," said Mithali while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference.
When asked whether there would be changes in the second ODI, Mithali said: "We will definitely look into the composition of the team, there would be a little more shuffle in the batting order to see whether we can improve in the things we have not done well in the first ODI."

Mithali also talked about how batting at number four is providing her a chance to groom young talent and give more opportunities to newer players.
"I think I have got most of my runs in the number three slot, but it is also important to have batters in the side. We cannot really fill the line-up with all-rounders who sort of pitch in bowling or in batting. We need to have batters who will score runs. If I go at number four, I am also giving an opportunity for the team because I know for a fact that I am not going to play forever. I also need to groom players in a sense when I am around, and guide them in the middle," said Mithali.
Speaking about the seam bowling aspect, the India skipper said: "Clearly, our seam bowling. That puts a lot of pressure if you don't get those wickets. When the spinners come in, a lot of pressure is on them to get wickets and even control runs. It is not that they have never done it before, but then, they cannot do it time and again. Somewhere, I think, we also need to groom our fast-bowling department. Other than Jhulan Goswami, the others who are there in the team, when they get an opportunity, they should be able to step up because these conditions do assist seamers, so they should be able to use these conditions to bowl well."
"So that is one thing we really need to work on. Of course, it will be a constant answer that the batting line-up will have to fire at some point. So that is what we will be looking into going into the second game. We will definitely look into the composition of the team and maybe a little more shuffle in our batting order to see that we can improve in things we have not really done well in this game today," she added.
Mithali also said that there is a need for the team to work on their game when batting first and how to consistently put 250 runs on the board.
"Over the years, I have seen that we, the Indian team, are far more comfortable chasing a target because we know how to up our run rate. But when it comes to posting a target, I guess there is something we need to work on when and how we get to 250 because we cannot be going bang, bang and then lose wickets in the top order and you have the lower order to score those runs, like how we did today. That will take us to 200 or 210, but that is not something we would want," said Mithali.
"So, yes, as a batting unit, along with the batting coach, we need to sit down to find a way where, if we bat first, how we could try to put a total of 250 on the board and where we need to put on the acceleration and how we get our innings to do that," she added. (ANI)

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