Cricket

Mithali Raj feels too much importance is given to strike rate

India ODI captain Mithali Raj said that the issue of strike rate gets more attention than it deserves in women's cricket, before adding that the focus of her team will be on playing according to the situation.

Mithali spoke to the media before India's departure to New Zealand where they will take part in a five-match ODI series before playing in the World Cup. At the press conference, the Indian captain once again faced questions regarding the team's slow strike rate and ability to post 250-plus totals in ODI cricket.

File image of Mithali Raj. AP

File image of Mithali Raj. AP

"I think too much importance is given to strike rate by you all. It is always spoken when it comes to battling or putting up big totals. I just wanted to know if you all only follow the strike rates of the India players or the players from the other teams," Mithali said.

"...because in the Australia series itself, the game that Australia won, the decider, Beth Mooney scored her 50 in 80 odd balls, but she went on to play a match-winning innings for her team. So as for me, cricket is a game played on situations on the ground.

She further said, "I believe that cricket is a game played on situations on the ground. And yes, it is important that we keep that in mind that we need to have a healthy strike rate. But at the end of the day, it's how our batting unit revolves and (what) the depth of the batting unit in our team (is).
"So yes, when we have to score 250-270, we need to have a healthy strike rate, but having said that, we will not only entirely focus on strike rate, it's important to play an innings to win and build partnerships, and that happens, not because of strike rate but because you apply and play according to the situation on the ground. Sometimes you have to play fast, but sometimes you have to play to get your team out of the hole too."
Mithali also added that top-order batters will need to take more responsibility for the team to score big totals regularly.

"Firstly, if we have to visit the 2017 World Cup where the team did well and put on a score of 250-270 is because there's at least one top-order bat who played through the innings and the rest of them revolved around that batter," she said.

"So it's important that the top order, one of them, takes the responsibility of playing through the innings and there has to be a partnership or two of 50... that way we would be able to score 250-270."

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Updated Date: January 24, 2022 13:01:26 IST

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