Mithali Raj, the Indian skipper heaped praise on all-rounder Sneh Rana and said that she can be groomed into a finisher after Indian women defeated England women in the third and final ODI.
India defeated England by four wickets in the third ODI on Saturday at the New Road, Worcester. Mithali Raj played a captain’s knock as she remained unbeaten on 75 off just 86 balls. In the end, Sneh Rana also played a crucial 24-run knock which came off just 22 balls with the help of three fours.
Mithali Raj: Sneh Rana Will Have A Bigger Role Playing For India In The Forthcoming Years
Sneh Rana’s cameo of 24 from 22 balls at No. 7 in Worcester was pivotal to her 50-run sixth-wicket stand with Mithali Raj as the duo helped India seal a four-wicket win in the final match of the three-game ODI leg of the multi-format series.
Earlier in the day, Sneh Rana had also made an impact with the ball, returning figures of 7-0-31-1, having opener Lauren Winfield-Hill caught for 36 to break a 67-run second-wicket partnership. She had picked up 1 for 43 in the second ODI.
“Definitely, yes. That’s a slot we have always looked for somebody who has the shots to clear the field, strong shots all around. And it helps to have a player there who can also bowl. So it’s good to have her on the side.
“She’s definitely shown that she does have the character in her to be built into a good player. In the current era, in modern cricket, allrounders play a very important role in the composition of the team. I’m sure that she has bigger role-playing for India in the coming years,” said Mithali while replying to an ANI query during a virtual post-match press conference.
India went on to lose the three-match ODI series against England but the solitary win in the third ODI will give the visitors a much-needed boost ahead of the upcoming T20I leg of the tour.
Indian women debutants Shafali Verma (96 and 63), Deepti Sharma (3/65, 29* and 54), Taniya Bhatia (0 and 44*), Sneh Rana (4/131, 2 and 80*), and Pooja Vastrakar (1/53, 12 and 12) took the centre-stage to manage a draw against England women in the one-off Test preceding the ODIs after being followed-on in India’s first Test after seven years.
Mithali Raj: It’s Just A Matter Of One Innings For A Batswoman Like Harmanpreet Kaur To Get Her Rhythm Back
Mithali Raj was of the opinion that Harmanpreet Kaur who has not been able to show any form with the bat recording scores of 16,19 and 1 in the three ODIs will get her rhythm back in the T20 format. She was not able to get among the runs in the one-off Test as well.
Harmanpreet Kaur, whose epic 171 against Australia in the 2017 World Cup, became a seminal moment for the women’s game in the country, has since gone off the boil. In 29 ODI matches (in which she didn’t get to bat six times) since the 2017 World Cup final against England, the Indian vice-captain has scored only two fifties and two scores over 40, which has put the maximum pressure on the scoreboard.
“It does happen with any player. Sometimes you are just not in form. But as a team and as a unit we back players who have been match-winners. We also know that single-handedly she has won games for us with her innings.
“This time around she needs the support of the team to back her. It’s just a matter of one innings for a batter-like her to get her rhythm and timing. I’m sure with the T20 format, a format that suits her game, I really hope she will be back among the runs,” said Mithali.
Talking about the form of No.3 Jemimah Rodrigues, Mithali said: “A young player, obviously, she (Rodrigues) will take some time. It’s just a matter of experience and exposure for players like her.
“When a player goes through bad form, as players, seniors, and team management we can give her the confidence and the backing, but it boils down to the player herself to have that belief to come out of the bad form. Again, for a batter, it’s just a matter of one innings to get the timing right and hope that as a young player she should get back in form.”
In the third and final ODI, Mithali Raj was also able to become the highest run-scorer in women’s international cricket, across all three formats. She surpassed England’s Charlotte Edwards to become the leading run-scorer.