Confident after finals performance: Raj
The captain of the India Blue team, Mithali Raj, put up an impressive all-round performance in the final against India Red, to help her team lift the 2012 Challenger Trophy. The senior cricketer showed the way for her team with both bat and ball at the Bandra Kurla Complex Ground. After a sparkling century, the top-order bat even rolled her arm and claimed two wickets to wrap up the opposition’s tail.
While speaking to bcci.tv after the game, Raj expressed her joy of being back in form after a one-and-half month hiatus due to injury. Raj, who had led India in the recently-concluded T20I World Cup in Sri Lanka amongst other series, also talked about the learning from the event and the forthcoming ICC Women’s ODI World Cup in India in 2013.
Excerpts from her interview:
On her bowling performance that saw her take two wickets
I don’t bowl very often but because there was a time limit and we were going neck-to-neck with the over rate, I had to come and bowl. But by then the match was completely on our side.
On her 119-run knock off 137 balls in the final, after a slow start
I am coming back from a one-and-half month break due to an injury, so it was very important for me to get my eye in. The last two games weren’t very great. Even in the last two games I was very slow [to start] but didn’t continue it [the innings] for a longer period, so today I wanted to take my time and I know that once I am set in, I can really accelerate the run-rate. So, once I got my eye set in, I thought that I will play my shots.
On the youngsters who have impressed her in the tournament
Smriti Mandana [from Maharashtra] a left-hander from the Under-19 team [India Green U-19 team] was very impressive with her 60-odd runs against us. I think she is one player who is very impressive.
On the forthcoming ICC Women’s ODI World Cup in 2013
It’s got to be a good contest because we are playing in our home conditions [and] playing in front of a [home] crowd. I think it would be more challenging; and also because other teams will be coming prepared for the World Cup.
On the learning from the 2012 T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka
I think we need to work round about in all departments. The most important thing is to be more consistent in our performances, in which we were good in patches earlier.
On what she will take from her knock in the final
I would definitely take confidence from here.