On Such Wickets You Have To Play A Patient Game Mithali Raj
Mithali Raj, who led from the front by scoring a match-winning fifty in the second Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka Women, rued being sloppy in the field but praised her bowlers after gaining an unassailable lead in the series.
"The bowlers bowled well, but our fielding was below par today. I think we gave away 15-20 runs extra. The wicket isn't conducive for a T20 since it is keeping low. Games will be low-scoring on pitches like these. So the team with more disciplined bowling and better fielding unit will win," Mithali said after the five-wicket win on Wednesday (February 24).
India were tottering at 27 for 4 when Raj joined hands with all-rounder Anjua Patil for the fifth-wicket partnership worth 77 runs that tilted the game in India's favour. Her strategy, at the other end when she saw four wickets going down in quick succession, was to try and build a noteworthy stand.
"On such wickets, you have to play a patient game. Just pick few odd boundaries and convert the singles into doubles and build the partnership which (I) did with Anuja. That was a very crucial partnership. If you have some players like that who can support you in the middle, chasing a low total on such wickets gets easier."
This was team India's fifth straight victory in the series, having swept the preceding One-Day International series 3-0, and with the T20I series too in the bag, the last game will be the ideal time for the home team to rest their regular players and test their bench strength.
Mithali admitted this will be their only chance before the ICC World Twenty20 to try a different team composition. "We've won two already and this is going to be our last game before the World Cup. We might be seeing to change the playing XI because we have some players on the bench, and we would like to try them."
The Indian skipper, however, cautioned that the team won't get complacent. "We would definitely play to win as well as try some other players. Maybe a different batting order so that everybody gets an opportunity in the middle before we finish the series," Raj concluded.