Mithali said she wants India to qualify directly for the upcoming World Cup © Getty Images
Mithali said she wants India to qualify directly for the upcoming World Cup © Getty Images

After India Women won consecutive matches in the ongoing series against South Africa, captain Mithali Raj revealed to Cricbuzz that she wants India to accumulate as many points as possible and step towards direct qualification for World Cup. India won the second ODI by a margin of 178 runs, with ample contributions from Smriti Mandhana who smashed 135. Mandhana had also scored 84 in the previous ODI.

“It was important for us realising that it was the start of the ICC Championship for India as well as for South Africa after the World Cup. Knowing that South Africa are very good at home. We’ve been facing each other regularly in the last few years, but it’s good to get points under your belt. Having four points gives us more confidence to get into the third one-dayer.” she said. ”Want to finish 3-0. Still have 2 points to fight for. We won’t take them lightly. We would’ve tried out some youngsters if it was not for the points but knowing that we need to have as many points as we can… because as the runners-up team at the World Cup, for the next World Cup, I would want the team to have direct entry.”

Jhulan Goswami, who had picked up 4 wickets from the first match, could only manage one in the second but still became the first to reach the 200-wicket mark in Women’s; ODIs. Talking of her, Mithali said, “It is always good to have one of the quality fast bowlers in your squad. She also, like me, debuted quite early in 2002 and since then we’ve been together a long time playing for India. She’s someone who has really worked hard. Because of her height she gets that lateral move off the wicket which has always been her strong point. Also her high-arm action in getting bounce off the wicket. These wickets are ideal for a fast bowler like her to get wickets.”