Indian women’s team captain Mithali Raj and the head coach Ramesh Powar had a history during the 2018 World T20. However, Powar has once again joined the team as the head coach and India’s Test and ODI captain Mithali Raj has said that personal likes or dislikes don’t matter when it comes to the country.
Meanwhile, the team is currently in Mumbai and undergoing the mandatory quarantine, ahead of England tour, which will begin next month. While she was asked if their past will come in between, Mithali Raj told PTI, “…we can’t be living in the past. I’ve played for so many years, I don’t have an ego or I don’t give attention to my personal likes and dislikes. I’ve never done that.”
“And 21 years has been a long time for me to sort of, you know, go through many challenges. When it comes to playing for India, it’s like serving your country, so personal issues, I don’t really give any weightage (to those),” she again said.
The veteran player is a torchbearer of women’s cricket who has been in the action for over two decades and doesn’t like to carry baggage as well. She added: “You need to think about the bigger picture. That’s how I am. There are so many things that have happened in the past, but I don’t carry that baggage into my present or in the future.”
On the other hand, during their quarantine, the team has had multiple zoom calls to discuss plans for the upcoming series against England. Mithali Raj, however, added that the 50-over World Cup is her main goal right now as well.
“He is the coach, and he has his set of plans, it’s important that both of us are aligned on the same page to take the team forward. Because even his goal is the same: that the team does well in the World Cup. It’s everybody’s goal in the team,” she said.
“We can’t be bitter and carry the bitterness. I’ve never been a confrontational person, nor am I someone who carries the past into present. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have survived for so long in a sport, which clearly needs re-inventions and revisions all the time,” Mithali Raj asserted. “It’s important that we are on the same page and take the team along, because we are at a very crucial phase of our preparation for the World Cup.”
And, while talking about if the ice is already broken between them, the highest run-getter in ODI cricket shared: “Yeah, we have meetings, discussions regularly so clearly we have moved on. Looking at the itinerary we do have a few days before the Test. And I’m sure the girls also would have trained or prepared themselves accordingly at home before coming into quarantine.”
However, India had last played in the longer format way back in 2014 where they beat England and South Africa in that year.
“A lot of them have probably been preparing themselves mentally. But it is very important to have some groundwork going. That happens only when we all come out of the quarantine in UK… But I think sometimes it’s good to not get into game with the baggage of expectations, as in like most of them are making their debut and some of us are playing after a long gap,” Mithali Raj expressed.
“It is great that BCCI is trying to organise Test matches in a bilateral series, because I believe that every player around the world would want to play more games. And it’s every player’s dream to don the whites at some point, because it’s the oldest format of the sport. We also have continuity. We play another Test in Australia, and it is going to be a historical one for the Indian team because it will be the first time that you’re playing a day-night Test, that too at the WACA (Perth). I am sure we will get enough practice with the pink ball before that,” Mithali Raj concluded.