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Advice taken from other cricketers to prepare for Test against England: Mithali Raj

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Mithali Raj said on Tuesday she had taken advice from other cricketers to better prepare for the longest format ahead of the one-off test against England.

From left to right: Jhulan Goswami, Jemimah Rodrigues and Mithali Raj posing with the jersey. (Twitter/Jemi Rodrigues)

India’s women’s team captain Mithali Raj said on Tuesday she was taking advice from other cricketers to better prepare for the longest format for the one-off Test against England starting on Wednesday.

Test matches in the women’s game are rare and 38-year-old Mithali has only played 10 longest games in a 12-year career so far. She last played a test in 2014.

I’ve played fewer Tests than ODI and T20, I would have liked more Test matches. I wouldn’t really start thinking about whether my game has evolved in this format, but the preparation was very similar, Raj said at the virtual press conference on game night.

And probably talking to a lot of other cricketers trying to understand how they are preparing for the longer format has helped me prepare for this test match, said Mithali, without mentioning the names of the cricketers with whom they are had spoken.

Raj said she wouldn’t want to burden rookie players with expectations and would advise them to enjoy the game.

Well, we’ve briefed them (players) on how the long format is played and it’s clear that for someone debuting, you don’t want to burden them with expectations and responsibility.

So it’s just that as a team I would brief together, support them on the pitch and they should just enjoy playing this format, the skipper added.

Raj also slammed for having all three formats in a bilateral series that continues, saying the tests against England and Australia are just the beginning. India will also play a test, a day-night match, when they tour Australia later in the year.

Yes, I have a feeling that this test match (against England) and even the pink ball test in Australia in the coming months, is just the start of a bilateral series in three formats.

It will probably open the channel to add another format to the bilateral series and that will obviously help the overall standard of women’s cricket.

She said any modern cricketer would want to play Test cricket as it is the format that really tests a player’s skills.

We have one day T20s so maybe it could lead to a World Testing Championship in the coming years as well, you never know.

So this is just the beginning, let’s hope we continue to have the bilateral series where all three formats are present, the righthanded batter said.

According to Raj, the batters and bowlers tried to get as many sessions as possible to get used to the red ball.

We are looking forward to this test match and series. Yes, 2017 was the last time we were (on) English soil. It was quite an experience for the team and most of them were part of the squad, so they got that exposure, experience.

Also for the first time we have points for the series, so it is clearly going to be an exciting series and we are all looking forward to that, she signed.

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