Mithali Raj Is Seeking Fast Bowling Versatile To The Best Team In The Balance > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Mithali Raj seeks fast bowling all-rounder to better team balance

Mithali Raj became the first woman to play 200 ODIs.

Mithali Raj has called for a fast bowling all-rounder to add better balance to the side after India's series win against New Zealand. Under Raj, India won the first two games of three-match series convincingly but lost the final one.

Speaking about the areas that need addressing after the series, Raj said, "I think the middle order definitely needs more outing in terms of batting. And also when the spinners are getting hit, we need little more support from the fast bowlers. Of course, Jhulan [Goswami] is experienced but we need to have... maybe having an all-rounder in the squad, in the eleven can be useful on these tracks when you know that on a given day that the spinners are not doing, the all-rounder can step in. It's again a choice but we definitely need to work on these areas."

Having said that, Raj was also pleased with the way her spinners had played throughout the series where Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht and Deepti Sharma combined to pick 15 wickets in the series.

"I think the first game the spinners have dominated and the opening pair has given us a great start, chasing 170 odd runs and without losing the openers initially has definitely given us confidence. Getting into the second game also the spinners have continued to carry that momentum from the first game, Though we had a collapse, the partnership between me and Smriti has helped us.

"I think overall the Indian team has always banked on the spinners and they've done well on this surface as well," she added.

The milestone game in Hamilton, where she became the first woman player to play 200 ODIs, did not quite yield the result that she would have hoped for but Raj was grateful for her journey and where she's reached as a cricketer.

"Well, when I started I definitely didn't think I'd come so far. [The] main aim was to represent the country and wear the India colours. And then be one of the core members of the team. Never did I think that I'd play for so long. When you have a long career, there are different elements which comes into your reasoning and factors. One thing [for me] has always been to constantly thrive and constantly work on my game to suit different conditions and different areas of my game. And trying to keep up with the international standard is very important.

"I've seen joys, I've seen highs and lows. When you have a long career it is part of it and I'm grateful to all the coaches who have worked on my game, to my parents, to my mentors and of course to BCCI and to WCI also because I made my debut under that association. I'm just glad that people who have made a difference in my career, I'm very grateful to them," she said.

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