'Need to work on rotating the strike' - Mithali Raj admits after India's eight-wicket loss against England

India played 181 dot balls and failed to find momentum in the first ODI against England women.

Mithali Raj
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Mithali Raj. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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India women suffered yet another abject batting failure against England and lost the first ODI of the three-match series by eight wickets on June 27. The familiar problem of the batters not rotating the strike came to the fore, as India played a staggering 181 dot balls in 50 overs. India batters were criticized during their home series loss against South Africa as to how they need to address the issue of rotating the strike. But in the first game, that answer remained a big no.

India skipper Mithali Raj, who scored a gritty 72, believes the batters need to rotate the strike far more often than just looking for the boundary option. Although England bowlers were disciplined with their line and lengths, there were lots of ones and twos on offer which the Women in Blue failed to take.

Apart from Shafali Verma’s strike rate, all the other batters were below 70. This problem area is haunting the team for a long time and it should now be a sign of worry since the ICC Cricket World Cup 2022 is just eight months away. Mithali spoke about this glaring issue and feels the batters need to find momentum quickly in the innings.

Mithali Raj hints at a possible shuffle in the batting order for the second ODI

“Clearly, yes, we need to look into that aspect and work on rotating the strike. Having said that, we require at least another top-order batter, in the top five, to get us the runs. We also need to understand that the England bowlers are very experienced, the seamers especially than the seamers we have. They are bowling in their conditions, they know how to bowl in their conditions, and they really bowled well today, we definitely have to look into rotating the striking aspect,” Mithali said in a post-match press conference.

The Indian skipper sounded optimistic when quizzed on the possible changes in the team combinations. Batters like Jemimah Rodrigues and Priya Punia are in the squad and the team could possibly explore those options.

“We will definitely look into the composition of the team, there would be a little more shuffle in the batting order to see whether we can improve in the things we have not done well in the first ODI.”

India and England will now play the second ODI on June 30 in multi-format series.