Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Important core players find their rhythm before the World Cup - Mithali Raj. India are tuning up to replicate, and better, their performance from the 2017 World Cup.
India are tuning up to replicate, and better, their performance from the 2017 World Cup.
As India Women prepare to take on New Zealand in a one-off T20I and five ODIs, captain Mithali Raj believes the series is the perfect opportunity for the team's pacers to get used to the conditions. The series will be followed by the ICC Women's ODI World Cup, where India will look to repeat their feat from the 2017 edition and maybe even go one step ahead.
“It will take them at least two or three games to get used to the conditions,” Mithali said. “We are here to use this series as preparation for the World Cup because it is the best way we get to know about the wickets and composition we will have next month.
“We want to put in our best standard of cricket so the team derives a lot of confidence when we get into the World Cup. We play to win but I look forward to giving some game time to the core players. It is important they find their rhythm before the World Cup.”
India face a gruelling tour ahead with the series against New Zealand and then seven matches in the World Cup before the knockouts. “Workload is in our minds but having said that rather than seeing two months… if you look at the games we are getting it could be around five-plus or nine or 10 of the world cup games,” Mithali said.
“We do have a couple of more seamers in the side so we'll see how we can give them an opportunity. The workload is secondary right now but getting them to bowl in these conditions is important so that's where they need that game time to get on to the field and get two-three games to get used to the conditions.
“[We're] looking to give game time to the core players. It's important that each and every one of them find their rhythm before the world Cup. that's what every team would want to do, find their composition and their core so they can prep for the World Cup.”
India have been a force to reckon with in ICC tournaments since making final in the 2017 World Cup. They also stormed into the final of the ICC Women's T20 WC in 2020 before losing to Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. While the two final appearances would have helped players understand the pressure of playing in a big match, this time the team is leaving nothing to chance.
India are travelling with a sports psychologist to help the players deal with the pressures of a world tournament in a better way. Mithali, understandably, is pleased by the prospect of the players having a person to bank on. “I think every individual has their own way of absorbing pressure, coming out and playing their best cricket,” she said. “Having a sports psychologist travelling with the team this time around helps. She has one-on-one sessions with the players to give them more time to understand how to deal with their pressures and find ways that they can absorb and play their best cricket.
“In today's time, it is even more important and helpful to have them around travelling with the team with longer duration of quarantines and bio-bubbles. Unlike before where we get into the World Cup directly we have a series where the tour is extended for two months. It does help to have a one-on-one session with them because you see things in a very different perspective and that clearly helps you understand your own self to find your own ways. Everyone has different ways of dealing with pressures and quarantine times, to have somebody address those issues is always helpful – a more professional support.”
India start their World Cup campaign against Pakistan on March 6 in Mount Maunganui.