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New Delhi: Former captain Shanta Rangaswamy has said that there is no room for constant criticism of Mitali Raj’s strike-rate as he is the best batsman in the Indian women’s cricket team.
Shant, a member of the BCCI’s Apex Council, praised India’s performance in the ODI series in Australia where they lost 1-2 but fought hard against a champion team.
With the win in the third ODI, India also broke Australia’s record of 266 matches.
“He is the best batsman of all time for India and he is still the best. He knows how to change gears very well and no matter the strike rate if the wicket falls at the other end. He has played well in the UK and in this case the series as well,” Shant told PTI.
“Even Jhulan was great against Australia. The two still play well when it comes to age (age 38).”
In the opening match of the series, Mitali scored his fifth consecutive half-century but India lost the game.
Commenting on the team’s performance in the ODIs, Shanta said: “It was great because they fought hard against the best team in the world. India should have won the second ODI too but it was still a good game.”
For Shanta, the fielding needs a lot of improvement and the players need to be more consistent. He also questioned the fitness of T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur as a thumb injury ruled him out of the series.
“He came from hundreds of injuries, before he got injured at home during the South Africa series. If he is prone to injury, he should avoid playing in foreign leagues and prefer to play for India. He is an influential player and the team needs him. Shanta said.
He said the BCCI could prevent players from playing in the league before such an important tour as Australia.
Expect more consistency from former India captain opener Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana.
He further feels that Richa Ghosh has a lot of work to do in his wicket-keeping though he has come up nicely as a batsman in ODIs.
“Yastika Bhatia was impressed with her debut series and has to be steadfast with her. Shafali has to find other ways to score, the bowlers will not talk to her about it now. The bowlers now know what she has to bowl,” he said.
Sneha Rana has come up nicely as an all-rounder which puts pressure on Deepti Sharma.
“Dipti is a good option in the Tests because he has a more compact game. Sneha has done really well since his return and could be the top spin all-rounder in ODIs,” said Shant.

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