Surprised that all my bowlers had an off day, says Mithali

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PHOTO: Vivek Bendre
PHOTO: Vivek Bendre

After a humiliating first-round exit from the Women’s cricket World Cup, India captain Mithali Raj said the collective failure of the bowlers in the must-win group match against Sri Lanka was a bolt from the blue.

India were crushed by 138 runs, failing to chase the imposing 282/5 set by Sri Lanka on Tuesday night. “All the bowlers were off colour today. We can expect one or two bowlers of colour a day but not all of them...I think honestly 280 is something I didn’t expect Sri Lanka to score against us, the kind of bowling attack we had,” Raj said after the drubbing.

“Against England also, we gave extra runs in the last session of our bowling department... It is obviously a concern area,” she added. India leaked more than 94 runs in the last 10 overs against Sri Lanka, helping them to post 282/5. Asked if former captain and pace spearhead Jhulan Goswami let her down Raj said, “It is not that one player will score each and every day… She has done well against West Indies, she has done well against England. It was her off day.”

Goswami picked up three wickets against Sri Lanka but she wasn’t her economical best and conceded 63 runs. The team had made one change by replacing pacer Niranjana Nagrajan with Shubh Lakshmi Sharma, a move that did not work. Sharma went wicket-less in her nine overs and conceded 52 runs.

Critical of batting

Raj was also critical of the India’s batting effort. “… I think the top three batsmen in a span of below 50 runs, that is where I thought the match was going to be tight,” she explained.

Asked if India underestimated Sri Lanka, Raj said, “I don’t think it was complacency but I had lot of faith in my bowlers... It is disappointing to be out of World Cup as a host team.”PTI



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