Playing according to situation more important than focussing on strike-rates, says India captain Mithali Raj

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, January 23, 2022, 06:47 PM IST
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India's Mithali Raj in action. | Photo: Twitter

Mithali Raj on Sunday said that there is too much importance given to the strike-rate of the players of her side, and people forget how players grind it out in the middle to take the side out of the rough patches in a game.

"Okay, I think isn't too much importance given to strike-rate by all? It is always spoken when it comes to batting or putting up big totals. I just wanted to know if you all follow the strike rate of Indian players or players from all around the world? If you might given an opportunity to me to enlighten, in the Australia series itself, the game which Australia won, Beth Mooney scored 50 off 80-odd balls but she went on to play match-winning knock for her team," said Raj during a virtual press conference.

"As for me, I believe that cricket is a game played on the situations on the ground. It is important we keep it in mind that we need to have a decent strike-rate but in the end, it is about how batting unit revolves.

" When we need to score 250-270, we need to have a healthy strike rate, but having said we will not entirely focus on strike rate, it is important to play an innings to win and build partnerships."

Further talking on the same topic, the skipper said: "You have to play to get your team out of a hole sometimes. There will always be areas to address, no team is perfect. We will look to post a total of around 250-270 consistently and this requires a top-order batter to be consistent.

"Lower-order contributing also helps, it is good to have depth in the team and smaller tail, I would say."

When asked about her two-decade-long journey, Raj said: "I think it has been a wonderful journey, not an easy one. There have been struggles but there have been good times too. I think it has come a full circle, my first World Cup was in 2000 in New Zealand and here I am flying to New Zealand for my sixth World Cup.

"In the 2000 World Cup, India played the semi-finals and lost, this time I want we play the finals and we win. Winning the World Cup has always driven me and it still drives me."

India will depart for New Zealand to lock horns with the White Ferns in one T20I and five ODIs, beginning February 9 in Napier. And then the Mithali-led side would compete in the 50-over World Cup.

After the game against Pakistan (March 6) in the Women's World Cup, India will square off against New Zealand (March 10), West Indies (March 12), England (March 16), Australia (March 19), Bangladesh (March 22), and South Africa (March 27) in the group stage.

Squad for 5 ODIs against NZ and ICC Women's World Cup, 2022: Mithali Raj (c), Harmanpreet Kaur (v-c), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh (wk), Sneh Rana, Jhulan Goswami, Pooja Vastrakar, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh Thakur, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav

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