Former coach Tushar Arothe says team will miss Mithali Raj's experience
Former coach Arothe calls veteran batter Mithali a legend
Former Indian women's team coach, Tushar Arothe has said that the team will miss Mithali Raj's experience in the T20I format, but players like Jemimah Rodrigues and Smriti Mandhana have the potential to bat the way Mithali did in her T20 career. Mithali, 36, the Indian women's ODI team captain, yesterday announced her retirement from T20 Internationals, a format in which she scored 2364 runs from 89 games with an average of 37.52.
'Team will miss Mithali'
"She is a legend — India's highest run getter in T20 Internationals. The team will definitely miss a player like Mithali in T20 cricket," Arothe told mid-day from California where he is coaching. Arothe was coach when the Mithali-led Indian team lost the ODI World Cup final to England at Lord's in 2017. "She is very dedicated and disciplined in all three formats. Her retirement from the T20 format will provide an opportunity to youngsters. Jemimah is doing a wonderful job and she is batting like a champion at the moment. Smriti too is performing very well. Both these players have age on their side and can perform the way Mithali did throughout her career," said Arothe.
Arothe was not surprised by Mithali's retirement in the shortest format. "She must have thought about it. Age is catching up too," he said. Mithali made her T20I debut in 1999 and played her last match in March against England in Guwahati. Her announcement is a surprise, considering she recently made herself available for the home series against South Africa, beginning September 24. "After representing India in T20 Internationals since 2006, I wish to retire from T20Is to focus my energies on readying myself for the 2021 ODI World Cup," she said in a BCCI statement yesterday. The Jodhpur-born opener captained the country in 32 T20 Internationals including the three World events in 2012 (Sri Lanka), 2014 (Bangladesh) and 2016 (India).
PTI adds: Former India captain Shantha Rangaswamy said that Mithali took the right decision by retiring from T20 Internationals. "There was a lot of hue and cry about her inclusion or non-inclusion [in the T20 side], but in T20 she was the first Indian to score 2,000 runs. The point is no one can take away the fact that she has by far been the greatest batter for India, forget the controversies," Rangaswamy said.
'She took the right call'
She backed Mithali's decision saying that the shortest format of the game could be energy-sapping. "She had problem with her knee, but came out of it because of her fitness regime. I think it is a good decision because T20 can be energy-sapping. It calls for very quick action and things like that. So, I think, she has taken the right decision," Rangaswamy added.
Total number of runs scored by Mithali Raj in T20 Internationals
No. of T20 Internationals played by Mithali Raj
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