Going early to South Africa will help us prepare, says Mithali Raj

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Going early to South Africa will help us prepare, says Mithali Raj

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SportsCafe Desk

01/24/2018

The Indian women team are all set to fly off early to South Africa for a bilateral series which comprises three ODIs and five T20Is. The Indian team returns after a long break of six months, as the World Cup runners-up haven’t played any international cricket since they lost the finals on July 23.

India's women cricket team will be playing their first series in six months, since ending the World Cup as the runners-up back in July. And skipper Mithali Raj feels that it is extremely important for the team to reach South Africa early and get acquainted with the playing conditions that await them.

"Going early to South Africa and understanding the condition will help us. We had gone early to England too ahead of our World Cup campaign there. And it helped us a lot. When you reach early, you have time to acclimatize with conditions, and also get used to the kind of bounce you normally don't encounter in Asian conditions," Mithali told ANI.

"We are also expecting a lot of lateral movement because this is the first time when we would be playing with two new balls. We need to assess these things before taking to the field." the captain added.

The last time Indian women’s team went to South Africa was back in May last year, where they were crowned champions in the quadrangular series that also involved Ireland and Zimbabwe. However, they failed to beat the Proteas at the World Cup in July by 115 runs.

"It’s a very important tour. It’s not going to be easy because we’ve played South Africa before. They are a very good side; you’ve seen in the World Cup, they almost made it to finals, so it’s going to be very competitive cricket and it will test each and every player and the team as well. It’s important that the girls are confident that they’re prepared well for the series,” the captain asserted.

After coming dangerously close to winning the World title six months back, Raj is adamant that the girls are in it to win despite the long gap between their last international games. The Indian women's team will tour South Africa for a three-match ODI series. The first game starts at Kimberley on February 5, followed by a five-match T20 series, beginning on February 13 at Potchefstroom.

India Women’s T20I squad:Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana (VC), Mithali Raj, Veda Krishnamurthy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Anuja Patil, Taniya Bhatia (WK), Nuzhat Parveen (WK), Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Radha Yadav.

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