Draw Against England A Big Psychological Boost For India, Says Mithali Raj
India women's team skipper Mithali Raj said the draw against England in the one-off Test had given her "teammates a big psychological boost" and it "definitely will put England on the backfoot" as the series progresses.
India will play a three-match ODI series beginning June 27 at Bristol, which will be followed by a three-match T20 series beginning at Northampton on July 9.
"Psychologically, I think it's (draw) a big boost and it definitely will put England on the backfoot, clearly because they know that even though the main batters have not performed, there are the lower-middle order (batters) who stood up and performed. So, the batting goes deep now," said Mithali during the post-match press conference.
After Deepti Sharma (54), opener Shafali Verma (63) and Punam Raut (39) had provided a strong platform for India in the second innings, the middle-order crumbled. India lost four wickets for 24 runs to be reduced to 199/7 from 171/3 and were in danger of losing the match before the tea break.
But, powered by a gritty unbeaten 80 by debutant Sneh Rana and her unfinished 104-run partnership for the ninth wicket with Taniya Bhatia (44 not out), India stole a draw in on Saturday.
"Now, it's just not the top order, the lower-middle order can also bat, have partnerships, which can be match-winning partnerships," said Mithali.
"This (draw) also helps the Indian players because they take a lot of confidence from here that it's just not one or two match-winners but they themselves, if they put their mind to it, can be the match-winners for India in any format," said the skipper.
"I think that it's a great way to start a series. We were in a situation where we were literally looking at a Test match loss and from there we have come to a draw. That clearly shows that the girls are not ready to give up. They are ready to fight and this is something we are trying to build in our team environment and take it forward from here that the team grows from strength to strength, just not in one format but each time we take the field."