Mithali Raj confident ahead of ODI series against SA
High on confidence after the innings victory over South Africa in the one-off Test, India women's cricket captain Mithali Raj said the hosts are are hoping to carry on their good form in the limited overs series, beginning with the first ODI here on Monday.
Bengaluru: High on confidence after the innings victory over South Africa in the one-off Test, India women's cricket captain Mithali Raj said the hosts are are hoping to carry on their good form in the limited overs series, beginning with the first ODI here on Monday.
"The girls are quite confident going into the one-dayers against the South Africans. The contest will be good as we are playing each other after gap of nearly six years," Mithali told reporters on the eve of the match.
Bengaluru is hosting all three ODIs. The second and third match of the series will be played on November 26 and 28 as part of the seven-round ICC Women's Championship, which is a qualifying tournament for the 2017 ICC Women's World Cup.
The series doubles up as the second round of the ICC Women's Championship and India are currently placed sixth while South Africa are fourth.
Mithali said though they are riding on confidence after the emphatic win in the one-off Test, ODIs will altogether be a different ball game.
"We are carrying the confidence of a Test match win against South Africa in the one-dayers, but then it is a different format altogether," she said.
Commenting on the visitors, Mithali said they form a formidable outfit.
"What little I saw them in the Test match, they are a very good fielding side. They have a very compact top-order batsmen -- four five of them -- I think over all, a very good side," she said.
South Africa's confidence is riding high after their comprehensive win in yesterday's practice match against India A.
The visitors piled up 300 runs with opener Lizelle Lee cracking 128 and went on to win by 120 runs.
Replying to a query, Mithali said ODIs have become important for them after ICC got into the points system.
"The ICC has got into the points system, and these one-dayers have become much more important or us, not only from the point of view of winning but even gaining points to qualify for the World Cup," she said.
Replying to another query, Mithali said playing more one-dayers will benefit not only the girls but also women's cricket.
"The more matches we get that much easier to maintain the momentum as a team and individual players, which will only help Indian women's cricket further," she said.
Mithali said the shorter format is more suited to women.
"One-dayers...I think is more suited for women's cricket because we can have huge targets. Now that the ICC has made it mandatory to have batting strips everywhere, it gives an opportunity for us to pile up big scores," she said.
Moreover, she feels holding regular Test series will also help young players because it throws up challenges in terms of skills, endurance, fitness and temperament.
"Longer format challenges every aspect of a cricketer in terms of skills, endurance, fitness level and temperament. I think it is a good format for young players to become quality players," she said.