Indian Premier League – IPL 2020 News : Mithali Raj moves on from 2018 spat


‘When it comes to playing for India, it’s like serving your country, so personal issues, I don’t really give any weightage’

Mithali Raj, India Women’s Test and ODI captain, insists there’s no bitterness with head coach Ramesh Powar and that they have “moved on” from a public fallout in the aftermath of India’s semi-final exit from the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean in 2018.

“We have meetings, discussions regularly so clearly we have moved on. We can’t be living in the past. I’ve played for so many years, I don’t have an ego, or I don’t give attention to my personal likes and dislikes. I’ve never done that,” Raj told PTI from Mumbai where she is quarantining along with the rest of the squad ahead of their departure to the UK on June 3.

“And 21 years has been a long time for me to sort of, you know, go through many challenges. When it comes to playing for India, it’s like serving your country, so personal issues, I don’t really give any weightage.”

Raj and Powar will have to work together in what is a busy stretch of eight months leading up to next year’s 50-over World Cup in New Zealand in February-March. India’s immediate assignment is a tour of England, where they’ll compete in a one-off Test followed by three T20Is and as many ODIs. Then in September, they’ll tour Australia for a multi-format series featuring their first-ever day-night Test.

“You need to think about the bigger picture. That’s how I am,” Raj said when asked of their working relationship with Powar going forward. “There are so many things that have happened in the past, but I don’t carry that baggage into my present or in the future.

“He is the coach, and he has his set of plans, it’s important that both of us are aligned on the same page to take the team forward. Because even his goal is the same: that the team does well in the World Cup. It’s everybody’s goal in the team.”

Tensions between player and coach came to a boil during the league phase of the 2018 T20 World Cup when Raj was asked to move down the batting order. Things hit rock bottom when Raj was left out of India’s semi-final against England, one they lost to crash out of the tournament. It has been three years since that standoff and Raj, touching 39, and in the last lap of a two decade-long career, has bigger things on her mind.

“We can’t be bitter and carry the bitterness,” she said. “I’ve never been a confrontational person, nor am I someone who carries the past into present. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have survived for so long in a sport, which clearly needs re-inventions and revisions all the time. It’s important that we are on the same page and take the team along, because we are at a very crucial phase of our preparation for the World Cup.”

India open their England tour with a one-off Test in Taunton, their first in seven years. Raj and the team will have good memories from their 2014 tour, where they beat England in a Test at Wormsley in a game where they fielded eight debutants. While the core of that squad, also consisting senior players like Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur, Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey, remains the same, Raj doesn’t want the team to carry any “baggage of expectation”.

“I think sometimes it’s good to not get into game with the baggage of expectations, as in like most of them are making their debut and some of us are playing after a long gap,” she said. “It is great that BCCI is trying to organise Test matches in a bilateral series, because I believe that every player around the world would want to play more games. And it’s every player’s dream to don the whites at some point, because it’s the oldest format of the sport.

“We also have continuity. We play another Test in Australia, and it is going to be a historical one for the Indian team because it will be the first time that you’re playing a day-night Test, that too at the WACA (Perth). I am sure we will get enough practice with the pink ball before that.”

Source link

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *