Mithali Raj © Getty Images
Mithali Raj © Getty Images

Mumbai: India Women’s cricket team captain Mitali Raj said that their male counterparts’ defeats against Australia in the ongoing One-Day International (ODI) series Down Under could give her side some valuable insight on what to expect in their upcoming tour of Australia. Raj also added that the upcoming tour will serve as an ideal platform for her side to prepare for the ICC Women’s World T20 that will take place in India in March-April this year. Raj, who has served as the captain of the Indian Women’s cricket team for more than a decade now and is also the most experienced among the current lot, added that the Indians would be targetting victories in the upcoming series in order to accumulate enough points in order to automatically qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, in which the top four teams with maximum points automatically qualify for the mega-event.

“Although men’s cricket is different from women’s, and I don’t judge our performance based on theirs, it surely gives us important tips, and their performance helps us analyse how things go Down Under,” Raj was quoted as saying at a press conference at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai ahead of the team’s departure for Australia.

“Although Australia wickets are different, it feels good to play on those tracks, especially in the 20-over format. It is also an ideal platform to prepare for the mega-event,” added Raj.

“It would also help us strategise against the Australians, who are exceptionally good in that format. We are playing in Australia after six-seven years.

“Although we don’t have experienced players who have played in Australia before, they have performed well in recent times and would utilise this experience to get accustomed to the tough Australian conditions,” added Raj.

Purnima Rau, the Indian women’s cricket team coach, added that India needed to win the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 in order to take women’s cricket to the next level, and encouraged the players in the current team to play their natural game.

“I always ask the players to play their natural game. It’s not always about winning or losing, but playing your best game and making the most out of it, as well as learning something new,” Rau was quoted as saying at the press conference.