When you have to put someone down, you’ll find ways to do it: Mithali Raj
Mithali Raj and former coach had a forgettable fallout during the Women's World T20. (AFP Image)

India cricketer Mithali Raj feels the allegations against her made by Ramesh Powar for not scoring at a good strike-rate was part of the former coach’s personal vendetta. Mithali and Powar had a huge fall out during the Women’s World T20 in which India finished semi-finalists, a match which the former India captain did not play despite being fit and scoring two half-centuries in the tournament. (READ: It was the most difficult phase of my career – Mithali)

Speaking to Times of India, Mithali pointed out that it was purely out of Powar’s dislike towards her that the former coach made multiple accusations including “finding her aloof” and “difficult to handle.” Powar maintained that it was due to a poor strike-rate that Mithali was dropped against England and also because the team wanted to maintain a winning combination. However, when Powar was asked why Mithali’s strike-rate didn’t come in way of her selection for games against Pakistan and Ireland, he had no answer.

“When you have to put someone down, you will find ways to do it, even if that person has some good qualities it gets overshadowed by the dislike of that person. I don’t intend to justify anything about my scoring rate as there are people who score at a faster rate but are not that consistent,” Mithali said.

“So it works both ways, but people don’t see it that way when they are negative about the player. If you see the percentage of matches that India won with me scoring runs it will be a testimony to my abilities. I play the way I think best suits the situation and the way the team requires me to bat.”

With Powar ousted and WV Raman taking over the coaching duties of the national team, Mithali and Indian women’s cricket seem to have left that turbulent chapter behind. Mithali asserts that in terms of preparation she is fully determined and that it’s one of the many factors that keeps her going irrespective of the situation around her.

“I may not be forthcoming with my expressions and my body language, but when it comes to preparation I am quite aggressive. At this level I always want to be the best and wouldn’t want to push on just because there is no one else in the team etc. That drive is still there. I don’t like anyone getting me out even today, even in the nets,” she added.

Besides limited-overs, Mithali has featured in 10 Tests for India scoring 663 runs with a highest of 214 and averages 51 in the format. On the desire to play Tests, Mithali mentioned how she’s always loved squaring off against the red ball and the challenges that come with it.

“I would have liked playing with the red ball and the feel of actual cricket gives a different thrill. You are always trying to strategise, whereas in One-day and T20 you have a few strategies and you know how it all works. After a time you can guess where it is heading, but in Tests a lot of factors come into play,” Mithali said.