Harmanpreet Kaur says things will be ‘much easier’ in post-Mithali Raj era | Cricket – SportsMediaz


Mithali Raj bid adieu to all international formats earlier this month after dominating women’s cricket for 23 years as a batter and skipper. Raj, who is the all-time leading run-scorer in women’s one-day internationals, remains a pivotal figure in Indian cricket. During her glittering spell in world cricket that comprised 7,805 ODI runs including seven centuries in 232 matches. (Also Read | ‘Give Rishabh a break. Selectors need to talk with him if they want to move on’: Former Pakistan star tears into Pant)

Soon after Mithali called time on her career, India named the squad for the Sri Lanka series with Harmanpreet Kaur replacing the veteran in the leadership role. The 33-year-old Harmanpreet has been appointed as the ODI skipper, besides her role as T20I captain.

As Harmanpreet begins her captaincy trail in the post-Mithali era, she feels it will be easier for her and the team going forward. The batter also spoke about she and Mithali had contrasting ideas as leaders,

“I have been leading the T20 side for a long time and now this time, I am getting an opportunity to lead the ODI side as well. I think things will be easy because when two different captains were there, sometimes things were not easy because we both had different ideas. Now, it’s easy for me to tell them what I am expecting from them and things will be much easier for me and my teammates as well,” Harmanpreet said on Saturday at the virtual pre-departure press conference.

“For me, it is a great opportunity where you can build a good team because Sri Lanka, I don’t think it is going to be an easy tour for us.”

Harmanpreet also lavished praise on Mithali, saying her retirement has left a huge void and no one can fill her place.

Raj, who debuted in 1999 in a One-day International versus Ireland, represented India in 12 Tests and 89 T20Is. In Tests, Mithali scored 699 runs in 12 matches with a brilliant average of 43.68, and gathered 2,364 runs in 89 T20 Internationals.

“Well, as we all know, she (Mithali) has done great for women’s cricket and I don’t think anyone can fill this place. If you talk about Mithali Di, I don’t think there is anyone who can take her place and we will always miss her in our dressing rooms and the things she has done so far,” said Harmanpreet.

The India skipper also spoke about her own batting and said she looks to score as many runs as possible. “I want to score maximum runs for my team. Batting is something that’s very important. Leading a team will be the second part because as a batter, if I can do well, it will be easy for me,” she said.


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