We should play more matches: Mithali Raj

Ahmedabad: Expressing worry about the less number of matches played by the Indian women`s cricket team, vice-captain Mithali Raj today said that the bench strength cannot be increased unless the team plays more international games.

"We need to play at least 3-4 international series every year, which would be good for the youngsters who are new to the system and will also help the seniors like us maintain the momentum," said the top order batter of the team on the eve of the first T20 game of the three-match T20 series against West Indies to be played here.

"The number of matches are little less," she said, adding that the team is worried about not getting a chance to play many matches in a year.

Responding to why there were not many women players joining the team, Raj said, "If you get more matches more players will come. You cannot improve the bench strength with just a couple of international series every year."

The women`s team has also not played international Test matches since August 2006 and Raj said that she really miss played the five-day format.

"Test cricket is the real test of character. It is important for the youngsters to play this format of the game as it is all about applying techniques," Raj, who has played eight Tests, said.

She added that one can play T20 without applying techniques, but not Test cricket.

Meanwhile, the skipper of Indian women`s team Jhulan Goswami also said that she missed playing Test matches.

"I do miss Test cricket. It is more challenging than any other format," said Goswami, who has also played eight Test matches.

While Raj has scored 572 runs in eight Test matches with highest score of 214, Goswami has score 263 runs, besides taking 33 wickets with best tally of 5 for 25 in same number of games.


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