We shouldn't lose patience with our experienced stars: Mohammad Kaif lavishes praise on Mithali Raj
India women's ODI captain Mithali Raj is earning plaudits for her match-winning innings against England on Saturday. Chasing a target of 220 runs to win the third ODI, India managed to defeat England by four wickets with only three balls to spare. Mithali stayed till the end and scored an unbeaten 75 runs off 86 balls to take India to victory at the New Road One stadium in Worcester.
Several former and present cricketers have praised Mithali's performance in the third ODI. Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif also lavished praise on Mithali for showing that experienced players still hold the key over young talent in the set-up.
Kaif said we must encourage the young guns but shouldn't write off senior players in cricket.
"Mithali Raj shows that in our excitement over young talent, we shouldn't lose patience with our experienced stars. Encourage youth but don't write off seniors, one of cricket's oldest lessons. @M_Raj03," Kaif tweeted.
India went on to lose the three-match ODI series against England but the solitary win in the third ODI will give the visitors a much-needed boost ahead of the upcoming T20I leg of the tour.
Mithali feels winning a game like this might put pressure on England in the T20I series and the visitors must be confident as they aim to put on a good show next week.
"Yes, 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," Mithali said in a virtual press conference.
"If they go on to win the first two games and then the last would be a decider and clearly the series will be excitedly placed. Yes, I'm sure that the girls will do well in the T20 format," she added.
In the third and final ODI, Mithali was also able to become the highest run-scorer in women's international cricket, across all three formats. She surpassed England's Charlotte Edwards to become the leading run-scorer.
(with ANI inputs)