India women’s ODI skipper Mithali Raj said after the team’s consolation win against England in the third match here that all-rounders play a key role in modern cricket, and that the emergence of Sneh Rana in that role will hold the team in good stead.
Mithali scored an unbeaten 75 off 86 balls to power the Indian women’s team to a four-wicket win over England in the third and final ODI here on Saturday.
England women were all out for 219 in 47 overs. Mithali Raj (75 not out), Smriti Mandhana (49) and Sneh Rana (24) then guided the team to 220/6 in 46.3 overs to end the ODI series on a winning note.
Sneh Rana’s 24 off 22 balls and her 50-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Mithali played a key role in the victory. She also bowled seven overs, conceding 31 runs and taking a wicket.
On whether the 27-year-old Sneh was a good choice for the all-rounder’s role, Mithali replied, “Definitely, yes. That’s a slot we’ve always looked for somebody who has the shots to clear the field — strong shots all round. And it helps to have a player there who can also bowl. So it’s good to have her in the side.
“She’s definitely shown that she does have the character in her to be built into a good player. In the current era, in modern cricket, all-rounders play a very important role in the composition of the team. I’m sure that she has a bigger role playing for India in the coming years,” said Mithali during the post-match press conference on Saturday.
Mithali said the ODI win was a big confidence-booster ahead of the T20I series beginning July 9 at Northampton.
“It is (a confidence-booster) because that’s what I told the girls, I said — we’re still in the series. Winning a game like this puts pressure on them. Getting into the T20s, the entire unit should be confident. I’m sure the girls will do well in the T20 format.”