Indian women team’s upcoming home series against England could be the last T20I assignment for veteran batter Mithali Raj. According to reports, the right-hander could bring down curtains on her career in the shortest format of the game following the series against England. She, however, will continue to lead the team in One-Day Internationals.
Harmanpreet Kaur & Co. are currently busy preparing for the T20I series in New Zealand, starting on Wednesday. Media reports are suggesting that the team is likely to bench Mithali and even if she makes it to the team, she is unlikely to extend her T20I career beyond the series against England.
“Mithali understands that skipper Harmanpreet Kaur will like to concentrate on building a team for the 2020 World T20 and that she is unlikely to feature in that tournament,” a senior BCCI official told PTI. “But a player of her stature should get a warm send-off and that is likely to be against England.”
Reports suggest that Mithali might not make it to the playing eleven in all the games against New Zealand. The veteran star has already been informed about the team’s plans and the team-management is hoping that the legendary batter could get the indications and wave goodbye to the format on her own terms.
“It is still not sure whether she would like to play the full series against England or like former men’s team pacer Ashish Nehra, play the first game of the series and retire,” the official further added.
Not much has gone right for Mithali in T20Is in recent times. She has faced criticism for her poor strike-rate and slow fielding. In November last year, India had sensationally dropped her from the playing eleven for the World T20 semifinal against England despite her scoring two fifties in the group stage. The incident had caused a huge controversy.
And with the next World T20 just over a year away, the team seems to have made up its mind and is ready to look beyond the ageing star. So far, Mithali has played 85 T20Is, scoring 2,283 runs with the help of 17 fifties.
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