‘We need to groom pace bowling department’

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Mithali Raj believes the seamers have to deliver as India tries to bounce back after losing comprehensively to England in the first ODI at Bristol on Sunday.

“If seamers don’t get wickets, that puts a lot of pressure on the spinners,” she said at a virtual press conference.

“We need to groom the pace bowling department. (Besides) Jhulan Goswami, the others in the team should be able to step up when they get an opportunity. These conditions assist seamers and they should make use of them.”

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She admitted India’s batters, who played 181 dot balls at Bristol, should also come up with a better display. Her 72 (108 balls) was the only half-century in the disappointing Indian innings, which laboured to 201 for eight after being put in.

More runs

“We have to work on rotating the strike,” she said. “We need another top-order batter to get us the runs. But we also need to understand that the England bowlers, especially the seamers, are very experienced. And they know how to bowl in their conditions.”

Mithali said the Indian team was more comfortable chasing a target than setting up one. “When it comes to posting a target, I guess there is something we need to work on, how to get to 250,” she said. “We can’t be going bang bang and then lose wickets.”

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She indicated the team could be shuffled for the next game, at Taunton on Wednesday. “We will definitely look into the composition of the team,” she said. “Maybe we would shuffle the batting a little.”

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