Mithali relieved, Siriwardena disappointed after qualifier
India Women’s captain says she is relieved after the win, while her Sri Lankan counterpart promises to improve in time for ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2014
Mithali Raj is relieved after India won the playoffs qualifying for the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2014.
India Women’s captain Mithali Raj was relieved with her side’s nine-wicket win over Sri Lanka, which helped her side qualify for the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2014.
“Yes, it’s a relief because in the league stage, we lost all our games, so it was definitely disappointing. It really needed a match like this to get the confidence back. We have two years to prepare for the next ICC World Twenty20, and we have the Asia Cup, so the preparation will definitely start from the Asia Cup,’’ said Raj.
The India skipper said that it was batting which let her side down in the tournament. “Even if we won the toss and batted, the middle-order could never build on the momentum. So somewhere, we lost the way in all the three (group) games. I think it is definitely a concern and is disappointing. Even the bowling attack (was disappointing), considering the wickets would be helping the spinners. The Indian team has always produced quality spinners, so it was all the more disappointing to see that the spinners could not penetrate much,” rued Raj.
On the other hand, Shashikala Siriwardena was disappointed with the result, saying, “We wanted to play this as a normal game, we didn’t want to think about whether we are qualifying or not for the next ICC World Twenty20. Today also we had a good start, but in the end, we couldn’t make the 20 extra runs on a pitch like this. Our bowlers also didn’t do as well as I expected, so it’s a bad day again,’’ said Siriwardena.
With Sri Lanka now required to play in a qualifying tournament for the ICC World Twenty20 2014, Siriwardena was confident that the side will have a good chance. “We are having the Asia Cup for the first time in the T20 format, which will be a good experience because India will be there and so will Pakistan. Bangladesh is also doing well. We don’t have much experience against India, so we are having another opportunity of playing against them and we know that they are a good team. I think we have lots of things to learn from this and I’d like to apply those things in the next couple of months,” she said.
“We’ll be busy with the domestic 50-over tournament and we’ll be searching for new players also. We’ll be playing lots of practice matches, and so we’re hoping to prepare better for the ICC World Twenty20 qualifier next year,’’ concluded Siriwardena.