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‘I Do Read Criticism About My Strike Rate, But I Don’t Seek Validation from People’

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Indian women’s ODI captain Mithali Raj countered criticism over her slow strike rate, saying she is quite experienced to be seeking “validation from people”, and that she is in the team to “play the role that is assigned” to her.

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Mithali, who became the top run-getter in international cricket across all formats on Saturday, surpassing former England batter Charlotte Edwards in the third ODI, said during the post-match press conference that, “I do read that the criticism is about my strike rate, but as I have said earlier also, I don’t seek validation from people. I’ve played for a long time and I know that I have a certain responsibility in the team.”

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The 38-year-old Mithali went past the 10,273 runs scored by Charlotte as India earned a consolation four-wicket win against the hosts in the three-match ODI series.

Before the third ODI, India had managed 201 and 221, losing both the matches before they won the final ODI, with Mithali scoring an unbeaten 86-ball 75.

Mithali had consumed 108 deliveries for her 72 in the opening ODI at a strike rate of 66.66, while in the second match, she scored 59 off 92 deliveries at a strike rate of 64.13.

“I don’t look to please people. I’m here to play the role that is assigned to me by the team management. When you’re chasing a target you pick your bowlers, you pick your length, you pick the areas. Because I’m in good flow, I need to make the best use of me in the middle and the entire batting unit revolves around me,” said Mithali.

The skipper said she is only following the instructions of the team management.

“That’s the job that is given to me by the coach and I look forward to sort of not get bogged down because at some point I know that the top order is already in the dugout and it was important for me to understand the situation and how I can manoeuvre and try to get the match close as possible with the batters who are yet to come,” added Mithali.

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