Mithali Raj has made herself available for India Women’s upcoming five-match Twenty20 International series against South Africa, starting on September 24.
Mithali, who captains India in one-day internationals, is not an automatic pick in the playing XI of the T20I team – despite a healthy career average of 37.52, her strike-rate comes in for criticism – but she is keen on playing the shortest format.
“I am definitely available for the T20 series next month but, at the moment, haven’t really thought about the T20 World Cup. I usually take it series by series,” she said.
With the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 just six months away, India do not have a lot of time to get their combinations in place. While they are a successful side in ODIs, they have struggled in the shorter format. They have lost all six T20Is played this year.
“As a team, we still have a lot to catch up on the T20 format but we do have youngsters coming in and with the exposure of T20 leagues around the world they will get more experience and mature faster,” she said.
“Genetically we can’t be like other teams but we can be more smart in our planning and shot selection. We worked very hard on our fitness in the recent camp in Bangalore and you can see the girls are much fitter on the ground and that reflects in their drills,” she added.
The selectors will meet in Mumbai on September 5 to pick the squad for the first three South Africa T20Is. The series will be followed by a three-match ODI series against the same opposition in Baroda. India then travel to West Indies and then to Australia in January to play a tri-series against the hosts and England.