Indian women’s cricket team captain Mithali Raj exuded confidence of a good showing as she leads a young team on a tough tour of England. The Indian skipper said that it was a good opportunity for the youngsters to test their mettle in the longer format of the game.
Out of the 15-member team, only three – Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami and vice-captain Karuna Jain - have the experience of playing a Test match. But Mithali is not worried with her side’s inexperience and believes that the young side has the ability to upset the hosts.
On playing a Test match after a gap of eight years
I’m delighted that we are playing the longer format. We played a two-match Test series in 2006. Personally, I play more of one-dayers so I enjoy ODIs but the feeling of earning a Test cap and playing in whites is unmatched. I am sure that the youngsters in the side will cherish every moment and would want to make it memorable by doing well.
On the importance of multi-day format
If you want quality players to come up then the longer format is a must. We have come to know that there is a proposal for a two-day format in the domestic circuit for women’s cricket. It is a welcome move. If you are a good Test cricketer then you can switch to other formats easily.
On leading a young side to England
I know that Jhulan, Karuna and I are the only players who were part of the 2006 Test series in England but if you look at the squad then you will realize that we have players who have played ODIs in England. We were very close last time in 2012. We were leading 2-0 and went on to lose the ODI series. Beating England in their own backyard is not that easy and we want to achieve that.
On Jhulan Goswami
Her experience will come in handy for everyone in the team. I remember she took a five-for in the memorable win at Taunton in 2006. She is still quick.
On the preparations
We have had a seven-day camp at the NCA. We are pretty happy with the preparations. We have also played a two-day match against the KSCA Under-19 boys team.
August 7-8: Warm-up match, Loughborough
August 13-16: 1st Test, Wormsley
August 19: 50-over warm-up match, Harrogate
August 21: 1st ODI, Scarborough
August 23: 2nd ODI, Scarborough
August 25: 3rd ODI, Lord's
India Women squad: Mithali Raj (capt), Karuna Jain, Smriti Mandhana, Thirush Kamini, Poonam Raut, Harmanpreet Kaur, Jhulan Goswami, Nagarajan Niranjana, Shubhlakshmi Sharma, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Ekta Bisht, Poonam Yadav, Swagatika Rath, Vellaswamy Vanitha, Sushma Verma; Sudha Shah (coach).