ICC T20 World Cup: Mithali Raj urges team to play bold cricket
Mithali Raj said she would emphasise on asking the girls to play fearlessly because unless you go all-out and play out of your skin, you can’t beat the best sides © Getty Images
By CricketCountry Staff
Mumbai: Sep 24, 2012
India women’s team are placed in Group A, which also includes Pakistan, former champions England and defending champions Australia but skipper Mithali Raj is confident of making past the tough group and urged her team to play fearless cricket in World T20 tournament.
“It is a tough group because one team, Australia, is the champion of the last [World] T20 edition, and England is the No.1 side. We have the top two women’s teams in our group. Though we lost the T20 series against Australia at home, we won the last T20, so that gives us the confidence that they are a beatable side.
“And England, yes, we lost the T20 series 0-2 in England in June, but I think if we prepare well and because it is a short format, anything can happen. I am being very positive. If we prepare well and if our approach is good, then things might change for us.
“Our first and big step would be to qualify for the semi-finals. Because of the kind of group that we are in, if we get to play the semis, then there are huge chances of us playing in the finals, because from the other side you get teams, which are okay teams.”
Speaking about the preparations, Raj said, “We had a probables’ camp in Guntur and during the camp we played a number of matches amongst ourselves and with the boys, so that way it was very good.”
However, it will require an extraordinary effort to pull off wins and to do so the skipper has urged her team to play bold cricket.
“I think our team needs to be more fearless. I would emphasise on asking the girls to play fearlessly because unless you go all-out and play out of your skin, you can’t beat the best sides. You need to do something different when you have to beat England and Australia.
“You have to be practical and acknowledge that right now they are better teams than us. They have beaten us in the past. We have to play out of our skins, we have to be fearless. We have to be very positive and competitive, only then you might do things, which you have never done and that will work for you on that particular day.”
Discussing the team’s reliance on her and bowling spearhead, Jhulan Goswami, Raj said to official website of BCCI: “Over a period of time because of our consistent performance people might presume that, but we have some good youngsters in the team also. It is just that they have to get going.
“We have youngsters like N Niranjana who made a good comeback, Harmanpreet Kaur and we have left-arm spinner Gouhar Sultana. They probably need to be more consistent in their performances, which would be helpful for the team. And because it is a short format, even small performances and small contributions can be very vital to the team’s results,”