Shutting down the naysayers who criticize her strike rate, Indian cricket team ODI captain Mithali Raj has said that her focus is to play for the team and fulfil her responsibilities instead of paying heed to criticism.
The Indian team led by Mithali Raj won the final ODI of their three-match ODI series against England on Sunday in Worcester by four wickets (with three balls remaining). Mithali played a valiant knock of 75* runs to lead the team to a breezy victory.
“I do read that the criticism is about my strike rate, but as I have said earlier also, I don’t seek validation from people. I’ve played for a long time and I know that I have a certain responsibility in the team. I don’t look to please people. I’m here to play the role that is assigned to me by the team management. When you’re chasing a target you pick your bowlers, you pick your length, you pick the areas. Because I’m in a good flow, I need to make the best use of me in the middle and the entire batting unit revolves around me,” said Mithali Raj speaking at a press conference post the ODI completion.
During Sunday’s game, the Indian skipper broke several records. She outplayed Charlotte Edwards to become the top run-getter in international cricket across formats. She joined Edwards in becoming the only two players to scale the 10,000-run mark in women’s international cricket. Mithali Raj has now amassed over 7300 runs in ODIs, 2364 runs in T20Is, and 669 runs in Test matches, boasting of an average of above 37 in all. With this, she also became the only player to cross the 6,000-run milestone in women’s ODIs, having a batting average over 50 in the format.
Indian women’s team Head coach Ramesh Powar heaped praises for the star player for her impressive knock and said that she is a role model for all the girls.
“Mithali Raj deserves every praise in the world. She has been a fantastic servant of the game. 22 years of cricket and I think she is a role model for a lot of our girls. She single-handedly won us the game. I can tell you, chasing 220 on a low-bounce track… she took us over the line,” Ramesh Powar said.
Although India won a final ODI, they lost the series to England 2-1. The two teams will now gear up for their three-match T20I series starting July 9.
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