Former India captain Shantha Rangaswamy is of the opinion that Mithali Raj is still the best batter for India. Rangaswamy further backed the player saying that Mithali Raj has played well in the series in the U.K as well as Australia and she knows to change the gears according to the situation.
Mithali Raj has been under constant criticism in recent times due to her strike rate in ODI matches for India. In the recent ODI series against Australia, Mithali Raj scored 87 runs from 3 matches with a half century and a strike rate of 55.06. Former India skipper and a member of BCCI’s Apex Council Shantha Rangaswamy has come out in support of the cricketer saying that she is the best ever batter for India and she knows how to change gears depending on the situation
“She is the best ever batter for India and she is still the best. She knows how to change gears very well and strike rate doesn’t matter if wickets are falling at the other end. She played well in the UK and in this series too. Even Jhulan was brilliant against Australia. Goes to show age is just a number with these two still playing well (at 38 years of age).” Shanta Rangaswamy said, reported PTI.
The series between India and Australia was a close one with the hosts winning the series by 2-1. The series was a display of quality cricket and the highlight was the second match where the very last ball of the match produced a result. Shantha Ranagaswamy has appreciated the performance of the Indian team saying it was remarkable.
“It was remarkable as they fought hard against the best team in the world. India should have won the second ODI too but it was a good game nonetheless,” she explained.
Harmanpreet Kaur was not available for the ODI series due to a thumb injury. Before coming into this series, the cricketer participated in the hundred for Manchester Originals. The former Indian skipper raised questions over the fitness of Kaur saying that she should prioritize playing for India and avoid playing overseas leagues.
“She had come from the hundred injured, before that she got injured during the South Africa series at home. If she is prone to injuries, then she should avoid playing overseas leagues and prioritise playing for India. She is an impact player and team needs her.The BCCI can step in and stop players from playing in leagues ahead of important tours like Australia,” she opined.
Yasika Bhatia played an important role for the team with her batting. Yasika scored 102 runs from 3 matches including one half century. On the other hand, Shafali Verma scored 86 runs from 3 matches. Commenting on the performance of both the cricketers, Rangaswamy stated that Yasika's performance in the debut series was impressive while Shafali needs to modify her game as bowlers now know where to bowl to her.
“Yastika Bhatia impressed in her debut series and should be persisted with. Shafali needs to find other ways to score, the bowlers will not pitch it up to her often now. The bowlers now know what to bowl to her,” she said.
In the last match of the series, the Indian team was chasing 265. Shafali Verma and Yasika Bhatia scored half-centuries in the run chase, while Sneh Rana played a crucial knock of 30 runs from 27 balls in the two-wicket victory for the Indian team. Rana also bagged 1 wicket for 56 runs in her spell. The former Indian cricketer praised the cricketer for her performance and said that she can be the leading all-rounder for India in ODIs.
“Deepti is a better option in Tests as she has a more compact game. Sneh has done really well since her comeback and could be the leading spin all-rounder in ODIs,” Shantha added.