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Women's WT20: Batters and bowlers turned the tables, says Mithali Raj

Bengaluru: India women's team captain Mithali Raj yesterday said both batters and bowlers helped the team to turn the tables on Bangladesh who lost the opening match of the WT20 Tournament by 72 runs.

Mithali Raj. Pic/PTI
Mithali Raj. Pic/PTI

"As batters we definitely wanted to give a good start, which we did, though we lost a few wickets in the middle, but Veda (Krishnamurthy) and Harman (Harmanpreet Kaur) got us back into the game and helped us put on 160 plus total," she said.

"We were expecting showers and in this scenario we didn't want to leak too many runs in first five overs, since in a truncated game five overs are cut off point for a result. Our bowlers did well and thereafter, they unleashed a tight line. Yes, our batters and bowlers made the cut for us," Mithali told reporters here.

Mithali said it was their strategy to have Smriti Mandhana at one down in the event of losing Vanitha or herself early on because openers usually take risk to score runs in first six overs.

"Smriti is a very important wicket for us. We want a batter like her in the event of losing Vanitha early on, because openers take risk in first six overs," she said.

"Yes, we have certain roles for all our top order batters so that they can go out there with clear picture in mind as what is expected of them," Mithali added.

Asked the rationale behind opening with spin along with pace, Mithali said since the wicket was in favour of the batters, she employed spinner and a pacer from both ends.

"Today, it was completely a batting track. I did not want to have pacers from both ends. We also wanted pacers in middle overs, and therefore I employed spin from the other end along with a pacer," she said.

Mithali said the win has boosted their confidence. "It has given batters confidence because they got opportunity to bat in the middle, and bowlers also got their rhythm going into the match," she said.

However, Mithali said the team would have different strategies for good sides like West Indies and England. While Mendis offered a simple catch at mid-wicket, Manodara was unlucky to have got run out. The Lankan innings failed to get a move on thereafter with New Zealand putting up an impressive effort on the field.

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