After a win in the third ODI, Mithali Raj has hailed Sneh Rana’s influence on the side, stating that Rana has a vital role to play in the Indian setup in the near future. Mithali also put down questions on the form of Harmanpreet and Jemimah, adding that the duo would gain form soon with the bat.
Following back-to-back losses against England, the Indian unit, spearheaded by Mithali Raj were under tremendous pressure going into the third ODI. While England made a positive start, the Indian bowling unit, clawed their way back in the game to shoot the hosts out for just 219 runs after their 50 overs.
Chasing 220, India found themselves in a tricky situation, at 164/5 in the 40th over, needing 56 runs from the last 10 overs. However, a fifty-run partnership between all-rounder Sneh Rana and skipper Mithali Raj ensured that India got home, with three deliveries to spare. In the post-match press conference, the Indian skipper was all praise for the all-rounder, who she called as having a bigger role playing for the country in the coming years.
"She's (Rana) definitely shown that she does have the character in her to be built into a good player. In the current era, in modern cricket, allrounders play a very important role in the composition of the team. I'm sure that she has a bigger role playing for India in the coming years," Mithali Raj said, reported Cricbuzz.
Prior to this series, Rana last represented India in 2016, against Australia in the ODI format. However, her return in this series has been beneficial to the Indian setup, across formats. The Indian skipper also stated that it is good to have her in the side, considering the dimensions that she brings to the Indian unit, with the ball and the bat. Mithali also insisted that Rana has a great chance of making it to the 2022 ODI World Cup.
"Definitely, yes. That's a slot [where] we've always looked for somebody who has the shots to clear the field - strong shots all round. And it helps to have a player there who can also bowl. So, it's good to have her in the side."
India’s vice-captain and one of the crucial components of this setup, Harmanpreet Kaur returned with scores of 1, 19 and 16. The Indian skipper reckoned that it only would take one solid innings for her to return back to form, pushing down the criticism.
"It does happen with any player. Sometimes you're just not in form. But as a team and as a unit we back players who have been match-winners. We also know that she has single-handedly won games for us with her innings. This time around she needs the support of the team to back her.”
The 38-year-old, who was instrumental in India’s win also backed youngster Jemimah Rodrigues, who is currently going through one of the roughest patches of her career, with scores of 1, 9, 0, 8 and 4 in the ODI format.
"It's just a matter of experience and exposure for players like her. When a player goes through bad form, as [fellow] players, seniors, and team management we can give her the confidence and the backing, but it boils down to the player herself to have that belief to come out of the [bad] form. Again, for a batter, it's just a matter of one innings to get the timing right and hope that as a young player she should get back in form."
Mithali also stated that the win would be a confidence booster for the team, who would be heading into a format change, where they have found themselves immense success in the last two years.
"Yes, it is [a confidence-booster] because that's what I told the girls, I said - we're still in the series. Winning a game like this puts pressure on them. Getting into the T20s, the entire unit should be confident.”