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Batters Punam Raut and Smriti Mandhana (Image: BCCI)
Batters Punam Raut and Smriti Mandhana (Image: BCCI)

We're not playing a T20 game, focus must be on building partnerships: Mithali Raj

ANI | Updated: Mar 12, 2021 19:35 IST

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 12 (ANI): India women's ODI skipper Mithali Raj on Friday defended the hosts' batters scoring at a low strike rate in the ongoing ODI series against South Africa.
While India came back to win the second game after losing the first match in the series, South Africa sealed the third ODI by six runs (DLS method). Players scoring less than run-a-ball has been a matter of concern for the hosts but Mitahli feels building a partnership is a key when playing an ODI.
"I think it's more to do with individuals players on how they work on them. And a lot more depends on when the batters walk in, if you are losing a wicket in the first over, you wouldn't go scoring six runs per over then," Mithali said in a virtual press conference.
"You need to work on a partnership that might result in few dot balls or a lower strike rate. Again there are batters who try to make up for the strike rate when there is a partnership. You are not playing a T20 format, it's more important how you utilise the momentum you generate in the beginning or if there is fall of wicket how do you develop a partnership then continue to score runs," she added.

India was cruising towards a big total in the third ODI when they lost star batter, Harmanpreet Kaur, in the 45th over. Talking about using the death overs to the fullest, Mithali said, "We definitely need to have batters playing the last 10 overs or death overs. A settled batter will always be very eventful in those times. Yes, we do have players who can play in the death overs and it is a matter of time they will come good."
The Indian skipper admitted that the side needs to be consistent and said players especially spinners will get back into the groove when the hosts play more games.
"What we need to work on is the consistency, spinners not taking wickets is not worrisome because if they play more matches they will regain the rhythm they had before the pandemic," said Mithali.
The two teams will now lock horns in the fourth ODI at the Ekana Cricket Stadium on Sunday. (ANI)