Our bowling needs to be consistent and it will happen with more game time- Mithali Raj

YB WEB DESK. Dated: 3/8/2021 9:58:03 AM

Lucknow, Mar 7 It was just a day short of a year for the return of the India women's cricket team as they took to the field against South Africa on Sunday and skipper Mithali Raj admitted after the defeat in the series opener that the bowling was not consistent and that it could have been because of the long break. The Indian team was handed an 8-wicket defeat in the series opener at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow. After being made to bat first by the South Africa skipper Sune Luus, the batters got starts, but failed to put up a substantial score as India could only get to 177/9 in their 50-overs. But the bowlers had no chance in front of a dominant South African opening partnership of 169-runs between Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt. “It seems like the batters were in good form. Few of them got starts but couldn't convert. The bowlers need to be more consistent with lines and lengths, maybe they weren't consistent because they're coming back after a long break. A lot goes into game time. If you play games, it shows in your confidence,” Mithali Raj said in a post-match interview. India got off to a horror start as they lost star openers Jemimah Rodrigues and Smriti Mandhana early. Both the players departed within the first 6 overs as India were languishing at 18/2 in 6 overs. Punam Raut went soon after in the 14th over as she only made 10 runs and India were further dented at 40/3. However, it was senior campaigners Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur who led India's recovery with a 62-run stand. Harmanpreet who was struggling for form in the Women's T20 Challenge looked solid as the hardhitting batter played a free-flowing knock of 40 in just 41 balls, hitting 6 boundaries. At the other end, Mithali was keeping the scoreboard moving and got to yet another ODI fifty. Mithali, who had extensively trained during the break due to the pandemic to prepare herself for competitive return, hit 4 boundaries and a six for her 85-ball 50.


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