Captain Mithali Raj in 20,000 league, but India lose
Captain Mithali Raj admitted that her team needed to “work a lot” as India women were thrashed by hosts Australia by nine wickets in the opening ODI of the three-match series.
For Meg Lanning’s Australia, it was their 25th consecutive victory in the 50-over format.
Mithali, who top scored for her team with 63, had a few records for herself as she completed 20,000 career runs while making her fifth consecutive fifty, 59th overall. But those were no consolation for the way her team surrendered to the Aussies.
Besides Mithali, Richa Ghosh’s 32 not out off 29 balls and Jhulan Goswami’s cameo of 20 off 24 balls were the highlights of the Indian innings.
Teenage Australian pace pair Darcie Brown and Hannah Darlington were excellent, sharing six wickets between them and restricting India to a below-par 225/8 at the Great Barrier Reef Arena.
In reply, Australia had few troubles in chasing down the target, reaching home in 41 overs. Rachael Haynes led their robust top-order reply with an unbeaten 93. She shared a 126-run opening wicket partnership with the experienced Alyssa Healy (77 off 77 balls).
Skipper Lanning, in her 200th international appearance, remained unbeaten on 53 to see her team complete a comfortable victory.
Commenting on India’s bowling, Mithali said: “Yes, we have a lot to work on in terms of our bowling… because, predominantly, we are a spin attack and the spinners are getting hit everywhere.”
Mithali, who has often faced criticism for her not-so-fast scoring rate, said partnerships and not “fearless cricket” should be the team’s priority.
Brief scores: India women 225/8 in 50 ovs (M. Raj 63; D. Brown 4/33). Australia women 227/1 in 41 ovs (R. Haynes 93n.o.). Australia won by 9 wkts.