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Monday, 14 June 2021 8.39 AM IST

Mithali Raj on working with Ramesh Powar again: We have moved on, important to be on same page before world cup

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MUMBAI: India's Test and ODI captain Mithali Raj has said she has moved on from the frosty relationship she had shared with Ramesh Powar, who has been appointed again as the head coach of the senior women's team. Raj and Powar had a fallout during the former India spinner's previous stint as coach after the senior batter was dramatically dropped from the semi-final of the Women's T20 World Cup in 2018.

Ramesh Powar was sacked as the head coach after India lost the said T20 World Cup semi-final in 2018. However, he was appointed as the head coach earlier this month after replacing former coach WV Raman.

Mithali and Co. are currently quarantining in Mumbai ahead of the UK tour, which is expected to provide a big push to the team's preparations for the ODI Word Cup in New Zealand early next year.

"We can't be living in the past.' 'I've played for so many years, I don't have an ego or I don't give attention to my personal likes and dislikes. I've never done that. And 21 years has been a long time for me to sort of, you know, go through many challenges. When it comes to playing for India, it's like serving your country, so personal issues, I don't really give any weight (to those)," Mithali Raj told the Press Trust of India.

The 38-year-old is a torchbearer of women's cricket for more than two decades and doesn't like to carry baggage.


"You need to think about the bigger picture. That's how I am. There are so many things that have happened in the past, but I don't carry that baggage into my present or in the future," she added.

In quarantine, the team has had multiple zoom calls discussing plans for the upcoming tour. Mithali said the World Cup is the primary goal at the moment and everyone is aligned with that.

"He is the coach, and he has his set of plans, it's important that both of us are aligned on the same page to take the team forward. Because even his goal is the same: that the team does well in the World Cup. It's everybody's goal in the team," she said.

"We can't be bitter and carry the bitterness. I've never been a confrontational person, nor am I someone who carries the past into the present. Otherwise, I wouldn't have survived for so long in a sport, which clearly needs re-inventions and revisions all the time,' she asserted.

"It's important that we are on the same page and take the team along because we are at a very crucial phase of our preparation for the World Cup. Yeah, we have meetings, discussions regularly so clearly we have moved on=," she added.


India takes on England in a one-off Test from June 16 in Bristol. A day-night Test against Australia in September has also been announced. With red ball cricket not being part of the domestic set-up since 2018 and limited preparation time before the game, India faces a big challenge.

However, Mithali, who herself has competed in only 10 Tests over 21 years, said the team will play to win.

"Looking at the itinerary we do have a few days before the Test. And I'm sure the girls also would have trained or prepared themselves accordingly at home before coming into quarantine. A lot of them have probably been preparing themselves mentally. But it is very important to have some groundwork going. That happens only when we all come out of the quarantine in UK...

'But I think sometimes it's good to not get into the game with the baggage of expectations, as in like most of them are making their debut and some of us are playing after a long gap.


'It is great that BCCI is trying to organise Test matches in a bilateral series because I believe that every player around the world would want to play more games. And it's every player's dream to don the whites at some point, because it's the oldest format of the sport.

'We also have continuity. We play another Test in Australia, and it is going to be a historical one for the Indian team because it will be the first time that you're playing a day-night Test, that too at the WACA (Perth). I am sure we will get enough practice with the pink ball before that,' she said.

India men and women's teams will reach England on June 3 via chartered planes. India women play the one-off Test in Bristol from June 16. They also play 3 ODIs and as many T20Is in England.

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TAGS: MITHALI RAJ, RAMESH POWAR, WORLD CUP, KERALA, INDIA, T20 WORLD CUP, CRICKET, T20
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