Have to bring our A-game in every match, says Mithali Raj

Mithali Raj’s women are boarding the plane to Australia in a confident frame of mind. India will take on the Aussies in a multi-format series that includes a historic pink-ball Test.

Speaking at an online press conference ahead of the team’s departure, the captain said the Day/Night Test was big for the women’s game and that it would be challenging. “We have never played a Test match under lights,” Mithali said. “(Neither) do we frequently get to play ODIs under lights.”

She added the biggest challenge would be to play the pink ball during the twilight period. “That is the feedback we got from interacting with a few of the men cricketers,” she said. “Let us see how we stand up to the challenge.”

Mithali said it was good that India could already play two series in the year. “Having said that, we know we are playing the best side in the world,” she said. “Clearly we have to get our A-game in every match.”

She said the players were confident after the training they had. “Considering the pandemic situation, we were fortunate to have a camp of 30 players (at Bengaluru),” she said. “We managed to get match simulation and had a couple of games under lights.” About the uncapped pacer, Meghna Singh, coach Ramesh Powar said her experience (on the domestic circuit) could help her in Australia. “She has been a seasoned player for Railways and has been performing well,” he said.

He hoped pacers like her would support India’s spearhead Jhulan Goswami on the tour. “We need a pacer who could bowl with her in partnership,” he said.

The schedule: ODIs: Sept. 19 (North Sydney Oval, 8.45 a.m.), Sept. 22 (Junction Oval, Melbourne, 4.35 a.m.), Sept. 24 (Junction Oval, 4.35 a.m.).

One-off Test: Sept. 30 to Oct. 3, WACA, Perth, 11.30 a.m.

T20Is: Oct. 7 (2.10 p.m.), Oct. 9 (1.40 p.m.) and Oct. 11 (1.40 p.m.), all at North Sydney Oval (all times IST).

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