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Mithali Raj Wary of Sri Lankan Prowess Ahead of Bilateral Series

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: September 10, 2018, 5:45 PM IST
Mithali Raj Wary of Sri Lankan Prowess Ahead of Bilateral Series

Mithali Raj. (Getty Images)

Despite being ranked four spots above them in the rankings, India’s ODI captain Mithali Raj is wary of Sri Lanka ahead of the three-match ODI series starting on Tuesday in Galle. The Women’s World Cup 2017 finalists are currently placed sixth with four points after six matches in the Women's Championship Standings. Both their wins came in a 2-1 series win over South Africa, while Sri Lanka are yet to earn a point after completing their engagements against Pakistan and the West Indies.

The ICC Women’s Championship involves eight sides, Windies, South Africa, Australia, England, Pakistan and leaders New Zealand being the other six, taking on each other in a series of three ODIs, home and away. Post the ODIs, both sides will move on to preparing for the Women’s World T20 event with a number of T20Is scheduled.

"We have played Sri Lanka in the World Cup, in the Asia Cup and I should admit that it's a team that has grown from year to year," Raj said in Colombo. "Now the gap between the top teams and the bottom teams is narrowing because of the ICC Women's Championship."

Raj cited the example of Lanka skipper Chamari Athapaththu, to show Islanders’ progress. Athapaththu played a smashing knock of 178 against Australia in Women’s World Cup 2017, and also signed with Melbourne Renegades in Women’s Big Bash League last year.

"You do have a player here who is representing Sri Lanka in the Big Bash League," Raj said. "That in itself should show that you have a very strong team, but India definitely is very positive about our own performance on the field.”

India and Sri Lanka have played each other 26 times with India having won 24 of those matches. The series will be followed 5 T20Is that will serve as preparation for the World T20 in November.
First Published: September 10, 2018, 2:07 PM IST

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