Australia’s women cricketers are on an unprecedented winning streak. They have won their last 24 ODIs in a row, beating the game’s international record set in 2003 by the Australian men’s team (21 wins).
Mithali Raj said on Monday, the eve of the first ODI at Mackay, that the Indian team would rather not reflect on Australia’s streak. At an online media conference, the Indian captain said playing against the best side before the World Cup was the best preparation.
“We are looking forward to playing our best cricket because we understand we are playing undoubtedly one of the best sides in the world on their home turf and it’s going to be a challenging series,” she said. “Every player understands that we’re in Australia, playing an Australian team. It’s not going to be an easy series. In every game we have to bring our top game against them.”
India has suffered a setback even before a ball was bowled in the series. Harmanpreet Kaur is injured and will not play in Tuesday’s match, according to coach Ramesh Powar.
“Unfortunately, some days back she got hit on the thumb and she is not available for the first ODI,” he said. “[For the] next ODI, we will take a call according to her pain management and fitness.”
About Shafali Verma, the teenage batting sensation, Powar said she deserved to get some breathing space. “Mithali, [batting coach] S.S. Das, and I had conversations with her,” he said. “She has played the Hundred, so she has got some confidence from there. She knows her role and what is expected of her. We don’t [want to] push a 17-year-old who is very expressive in her batting. We don’t want to curtail her game. Das is working on her game and mental aspects.”
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