Mackay [Australia], September 21 (ANI): India was thrashed by Australia in the opening ODI on Tuesday and skipper Mithali Raj said the team needed to put on a bigger score on the board keeping the Australian batting line-up in mind.
Player of the Match Darcie Brown's four-wicket haul and a 126-run opening stand between Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes helped Australia chase down India's total of 225/8 in just 41 overs. With this win, Australia has not only taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series but also Meg Lanning's side has extended its unbeaten run in ODIs to 25 matches.
"When you know the sort of Australian batting line-up, anything closer to 250 is what we are looking at. Losing two wickets of batters like Shafali and Smriti in the powerplay itself and it was important that middle-order starts to compensate for that and build a partnership, but that didn't go well and then we didn't get the partnership in lower-middle order as well," she rued in the post-match virtual press conference.
Commenting on coming back strongly in the next game, Mithali said: "You do have plans but it's about executing it on the ground. Sometimes bowlers don't get the rhythm and at times they get in so the plan isn't working. So, have a lot to work in terms of the bowling department because predominantly we are spinners and spinners are getting hit everywhere so that is something we need to look into."
Brown stole the show for Australia with the ball and Mithali feels the youngster is really talented. "She is quite a talent for them. Not just Brown, they have battery of fast bowlers and you see a good attack coming in the future. It is not just about bowling quick, it is also about fitness and how well they hit length consistently and we got to see today," she pointed.
Mithali feels a good start at the top can help India in the coming games as the middle-order can then consolidate and build on it. "If the opening partnership gives us a good start, the middle order can clearly take the momentum from there. If you lose early wickets you have to build an innings in the first ten overs so Smriti has been in the international circuit for a while and expect some runs from her."
Commenting on her own batting, Mithali said: "I want to evolve as a player. Though I have been scoring runs, that isn't enough for the team to win. So, there is always room for improvement."
While the India skipper agreed that she looks to improve her strike-rate, she made it clear that the scoring rate doesn't cross her mind when she is in the middle. "I don't give much of a thought on that. But yes, it is always in my mind to improve on that but that doesn't cross my mind when I walk in to bat," she said. (ANI)
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