Indian cricketer Mithali Raj unperturbed by strike-rate criticism
Mithali Raj has said that she does not “seek validation” from others about her strike-rate and instead focuses on performing the role given to her by the Indian women’s cricket team management.
Raj, the Test and ODI captain, led India Women to a consolation four-wicket win in the third and final ODI against England Women in Worcester on Saturday (July 3) with an unbeaten 75 off 86 balls.
"I do read the criticism about my strike-rate but as I've said earlier also, I don't seek validation from people," Raj said. "I have played for a long time, and I know that I have a certain responsibility in the team. I don't look to please people, I'm here to play the role that's assigned to me accordingly, by the team management.
"When you're chasing a target, you pick your bowlers, you pick the length, and you pick the areas. And because I am in good flow, I know I need to make the best use of me in the middle. In a way the batting unit revolves around me - that's the job that's been given to me by the coach [Ramesh Powar].
Raj said that it was important for her to stay in the middle and take the innings as deep as she could.
"I look to not get bogged down because somewhere I do know that the top order is already in the dugout and it was important for me to understand the situation how I can manoeuvre and try to get the match as close as possible with the batters who are yet to come and the batters that I had in the middle.
"For me batting has always been a role-play in the team. The sort of role that is assigned to me over the years is of taking the responsibility of the batting unit and play throughout. And that's something I've always done.
The all-time leading run-getter in women’s international cricket has a much better record while chasing; Raj averages 64.53 in 87 ODI innings while chasing compared to an average of 45.02 while batting first in 109 innings.
"Chasing gives me a better picture of building an innings along with the other batters in the middle and I am able to control the game. I think that really worked for me.
“And having young girls in the side it helps to guide them when you're in the middle to also sort of help them understand the situation and how to play in these conditions. It works well that way.”
Featured photo: Twitter/ ICC