Mithali banks on home advantage

Mithali banks on home advantage

Indian skipper Mithali Raj feels getting early momentum is the key towards pushing the New Zealand team on the back foot in the five-match ODI series, starting here on Sunday.

“We are playing at home and we are feeling very confident. The previous ODI series against South Africa did not go the way we would have wanted to. We do not want to repeat our mistakes. I am sure all of us are ready to step out on the field with confidence,” Mithali said here at a press conference on Saturday.

Speaking about their opponents, the 32-year old said that the White Ferns have a lot of new faces in their side. “We have played New Zealand in a T20 practice game in Bangladesh. They have many new faces in the side who are touring India for the first time. Their spinners are quite slow through the air, compared to many other foreign spinners who are a lot quicker. We have read their bowlers quite well.”

 Mithali added that the pitch could offer plenty of runs and said that her side would love to exploit the batting conditions to the maximum.

 Suzie Bates, the New Zealand captain, said that the comprehensive 97-run victory in the practise match against India ‘A’ on Friday was an ideal way to begin the series. “It was a good outing for us. I was happy to see the team performing well in all the departments. It is a young Indian side and we are excited to take them on,” Bates said.

Bates believes her side is well balanced. “We have some very strong hitters who can score at a good rate. But we need to keep wickets in hand and play our natural game, without taking unnecessary risks.”

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