Captain Harmanpreet Kaur and the Indian team management made a bold statement on Friday morning by dropping veteran Mithali Raj from India’s playing XI in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup semifinal against England.
No room in India’s XI for a fit again Mithali Raj 👀 #WT20 pic.twitter.com/EDJWmX68nl
— ICC World Twenty20 (@WorldT20) November 22, 2018
However, India’s decision to drop Mithali Raj backfired as their batting order collapsed. After a brisk start by elegant opener Smriti Mandhana, the Women-in-Blue lost their last eight wickets for mere 23 runs to fold for a meagre total of 112 runs. The match was played at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua.
Here is how Twitter reacted to Team India’s decision to drop former skipper Mithali Raj:
If India can go in without Mithali Raj, this must be twice as good a batting side as any in the world!!! What is the story there?
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 23, 2018
Bold call by India to leave out Mithali Raj. Welcome to the Ramesh Powar era. No place for sentiments.
— Shashank Kishore (@captainshanky) November 22, 2018
Indian team captain Harmanpreet Kaur chosen her lose by not Mithali Raj.
Do you agree with me? #INDvENG
— Ajeet Kumar (@dhonimahiswag) November 23, 2018
Still gobsmacked that Mithali Raj isn’t playing for India in this semi. Big call. If it comes off it will be hailed as a master stroke. If not… #wt20 #WatchThis
— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) November 23, 2018
I’ve been saying for a while the Mithali Raj should be batting in the middle order in T20Is for India, not opening. Ramesh Powar has gone a step further today, leaving her out altogether, and continuing to be bold.
What a statement. #WT20
— Snehal Pradhan (@SnehalPradhan) November 22, 2018
IND really missed mithali raj today.#INDvENG #WT20
— InLieuOfThoughts&Prayers (@DUDZLANI) November 23, 2018
Are you kidding me!!! There is no Mithali raj in the semi final!!! Such a harsh decision😥. Still not getting the fact India dropped @M_Raj03 pic.twitter.com/owVFvSwmon
— Shubham Naik (@Shubhamx_x) November 23, 2018
#icc Mithali Raj on bench cost India world Cup.
— Avinash Kumar (@DigitalHBS) November 23, 2018
I don’t kn who the authority of Indian women cricket , but excluding Mithali Raj is like a team with out head.. Captain explanation absolutely baffling… What a scrap. #MithaliRaj #IndvsEng pic.twitter.com/Puc3JgcbrO
— Anil.N.Pillai (@AnilNPillai32) November 23, 2018
What is happening in Indian womens cricket. How you can drop women’s cricket Sachin Tendulkar (Mithali Raj) for world cup semifinal.
— Machindra Gurav (@machgurav) November 23, 2018
It’s not a pitch where you can hit through the line and fetch boundaries. Mithali Raj would have been ideal on this pitch. Wrong move by India to drop Mithali. But India still good enough to beat ENG.#ICCWWT20
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) November 23, 2018
Meanwhile, Harmanpreet Kaur has defended the team management’s decision to drop Mithali Raj. Speaking after the heartbreaking 8-wicket loss to England, Harmanpreet Kaur said she had “no regrets”.
“Whatever we decided, we decided for the team. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, no regrets,” Harmanpreet said. “I’m proud of the way my girls played through the tournament. This is a learning for us because we are a young team.”