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Younger team braced for England challenge

cricket Updated: Jun 20, 2012 23:31 IST
Anand Sachar
Anand Sachar
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The return of Mithali Raj as skipper of the Indian women's cricket team came after the sacking of Anjum Chopra as captain and player amidst talk of a demoralised team. But with the England tour approaching, the team insists the mood in the camp is upbeat.

“Since it's a young team, they all want to do well. They just want to focus on their performances. The key will be to translate the off-field strategies into action on the field which was not happening during the last two series," India coach Anju Jain told HT before the team's departure.

The 35-year old Chopra was given the boot following two disastrous series against West Indies and Australia early this year. In West Indies, India lost the T20 series 3-2 and the one-day leg 2-1. Subsequently, they were whitewashed 3-0 in the one-dayers and lost the T20s 4-1 against the visiting Australians.

But when the team as a collective outfit failed, was it fair to lay all the blame on the captain? Asked about Chopra's omission, Raj, who last captained the side in 2008, said: “What can I say? As a teammate and fellow player I cannot comment on it.”

A tour of England is considered challenging for any player, so would Chopra's experience not have made a difference? "Experience always helps. But then a player only gets experienced by playing more games, which the other players will over a period of time," added Raj, with an air of awkwardness.

Jain also stressed on the value of having a younger team. “It helps to have younger players. Especially on overseas tours, the energy they provide on the field can be crucial.”

India are scheduled to play a T20I against Ireland and 2 T20Is and 5 ODIs against England. The tour begins on June 24.

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