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Mithali Raj Says Team Lacked Intent, Hints Changes for Next Game

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India skipper Mithali Raj on Sunday rued that her side “lacked intent” in all three departments of the game in the opening ODI and hinted that the team-combination could change in the second match against England.

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India suffered an eight-wicket thrashing at the hands of the hosts in the series-opening match here on Sunday.

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She also hinted that there would be change in team composition for the second match on Wednesday.

“We lacked intent in all three departments. Could have had another (batter) from top five stay there and get some runs. The bowlers could have been more consistent in their lengths, and our fielding needs a lot more effort,” Raj said after the match.

“England have a very experienced bowling attack, they are in their conditions and know which lengths to bowl. We’ll come prepared and show a bit more intent next game.”

Asked about the dot balls India conceded while batting, Raj said, “(That is) something we need to address by the next game.”

Raj, who top-scored for India with a 108-ball 72, said she hoped that her side’s seamers would be effective, but none except Jhulan Goswami, could do much.

“The other two couldn’t find their rhythm,” she said.

“We’ll look at the composition for the next game, maybe bring in a spinner,” said the captain.

Asked if there could be changes in the batting line-up also in the next game, she said, “We’ll look at that as well.”

England captain Heather Knight, on the other hand, was pleased with the clinical performance of her side.

“Katherine and Anya set the tone with the ball. Bit more pace in the pitch this time so we managed to go to some of our short-ball plans, (they were) more effective than in the Test,” she said.

“To finish it that so clinically was a good day at the office.”

Asked about the short balls her bowlers bowled, Knight said, “It was a plan, we felt the pitch had the pace in it to be effective, something they aren’t so used to playing in India on slower wickets.

“Bowlers have worked on it, getting options for different pitches and different scenarios.”

On the battle between Katherine Brunt and India’s teenage batting sensation Shafali Verma early on, she said, “Really exciting to see youngsters coming in and the two opening bowlers holding their nerve and winning that battle.”

“It’s set up to be a lovely series. It was a brilliant cricket wicket, bit in it for the bowlers but a very good batting pitch.”

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