Indian women's ODI and Test skipper Mithali Raj said that the past is gone now and she's looking forward to working with India's new coach Ramesh Power and is sure that he will come up with plans to steer the ship together. She added that Test cricket should be played with continuity.
Mithali Raj and Ramesh Powar have had a strained relationship in the past. In what was one of the biggest controversies in women's cricket three years back, Mithali Raj, after not getting picked in the semi-final clash against England in the 2018 T20 World Cup, had accused Ramesh Powar of humiliating and discriminating against her.
With Ramesh Powar back as the coach of the side, his relationship with Mithali Raj is supposed to remain one of the talking points in the upcoming months with high-profile tours of England and Australia, this year. However, the Indian skipper, ahead of the England tour, made it clear that the past is gone now, and she's looking forward to working with the newly-appointed Indian head coach.
“The past is gone by. I am sure he will come up with plans and we together will steer the ship. We will work in tandem and build a very strong team for the future, especially with the World Cup scheduled next year,” Mithali told Sportstar.
For the first time since 2014, Indian women's team will feature in Test cricket. They will play two Tests this year with one coming against England next month and the other being a day-night affair Down Under, later this year. Mithali, one of the veterans of the game, opined that Test matches should be a constant in women's cricket and India are confident of living up to the billing in the format they have hardly played for a long time.
“My personal opinion is that we should have a continuity in playing Test matches. I believe that all three formats can exist together in women’s cricket too and players need to enjoy all of them. We are going with an open mind, will be positive and confident of living up to the expectations for a Test match always challenges a player in many ways and the girls too are really excited,” said Mithali.
BCCI have been facing intense criticism over their handling of the India women's team and the disparity between men's and women's cricket in the country. Mithali, however, doesn't seem unhappy with the board as she quipped that it's good that the BCCI are initiating measures for India’s women team to play Tests and have more India A tours.
“I am glad the BCCI had already initiated measures to ensure continuity in Tests if the pink ball Test in Australia for us is any hint. This will only help improve players standards. I am sure the BCCI is also working to have more of India A tours for women’s cricket and it is unfortunate that the Under-19 World Cup for girls is cancelled or else it would have provided the girls a platform to create a buzz".
The seasoned campaigner is also quite sure that the BCCI will come up with a proper schedule so that they prepare well for the pink-ball Test in Australia.
“The BCCI will definitely come up with a schedule which shall help the Indian team with some matches, before going for the pink ball Test in Australia. I am personally excited to play as I never thought I would play one in my career,” she said.