Have to work on bowling, building partnerships: Mithali Raj on 9-wicket loss
- India's problems in both the batting and bowling department came to the fore
- Yes, we have a lot to work in terms of our bowling department, Mithali Raj said
- India trail the 3-match ODI series 0-1
The India women's cricket team was condemned to a nine-wicket loss by the Australia women's cricket team at Harrup Park, Mackay, Australia. India is touring Australia for a three-match ODI series, which they now trail 0-1.
India's problems in both the batting and bowling department came to the fore as the Australians gunned down the target of 226 with much ease as they extended their record winning streak to 25.
"Well, see, you don't have plans, but again it is about executing it in the ground, sometimes the bowlers don't get the rhythm, but there are times when you know they get the rhythm but the plan isn't working," Mithali said at the post-match press conference.
"Yes, we have a lot to work in terms of our bowling department because, predominantly, we are spin attack and spinners are getting hit everywhere, so that is something we need to tweak," she added.
India could only manage 225/8 in an innings that failed to gain momentum. Mithali, who completed 20,000 career runs, lamented that the batters could not build partnerships.
"See, when you know the (kind of) batting line up the Australians have, anything closer to 250, is what we were looking at, but losing two wickets, especially batters like Shafali (Verma) and Smriti (Mandhana) in the power-play itself...
"So, it was important that the middle-order starts to compensate for that and build a partnership, that is what we did with Yastika (Bhatia), but again we didn't get enough partnerships in the lower-middle as well.
"We need to now have partnerships, rather than thinking about playing fearless cricket, the girls need to get down to developing some partnerships in the middle and that definitely will give them confidence at some point to play fearless," she quipped.
Speaking about the importance of a good opening stand, Mithali said: "I mean, see the opening partnership, if they give us a good start, clearly the middle- order can take the momentum from there, but if you lose early wickets, you actually have to build an innings.
"In the first 10 overs, so you know Smriti (Mandhana) has been in the international circuit for a while, so we would expect some runs from her," said Mithali, adding that the team was planning to look at all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar for the World Cup and so it was important to try her out.
On her personal form, Mithali, who scored her fifth consecutive half-century, said, "I have always felt, no matter how many runs I score, there is always some scope for improvement and I want to keep my game.
"I want to evolve as a player too, I know that I have been scoring runs but it isn't enough for the team to win, so there is always room for improvement."
The second ODI will be played on September 24, 2021, at the same venue.