Mumbai: Mithali Raj said India would use the upcoming T20 tri-series featuring England and Australia as a platform to prepare for the ICC Women’s World T20 scheduled to be held in the West Indies later this year. India were thrashed (0-3) by Australia in the recently-concluded three-match ODI series in Baroda.
Mithali said Australia would be the toughest opponents in the tr-series that begins on Thursday. “They are more experienced than England,” she said.
Harmanpreet Kaur will lead the country in T20s with Smriti Mandhana as her deputy.
“We are looking at the bigger picture that is World T20. We want to get our combination right and give enough opportunity to every player in this
tournament,” said Mithali.
After winning both ODI and T20I series in South Africa, India’s dismal show against Australia at home came as a big disappointment. Mithali blamed it on lack of preparation. “Apart from that, I think our bowlers were not as disciplined as they were in South Africa. We also lacked partnerships,” she said.
The 35-year-old, who had led India to the final of the ODI World Cup in England last year, said India need to invest in young players.
Mithali hailed BCCI contract as a great decision. “Players need to invest more, keep fitness level high and are expected to be professional on ground and perform their best. With contract system, every cricketer (even from poor background and far flung region) can aim to play for India,” she added.
On women’s IPL, the Indian ODI captain said: “It is important to have a pool of players. If we have some quality domestic players then it will be wise to have women’s IPL. It may take a year or two to have the second string team ready.”