Was It Really Worth Dropping Mithali Raj In Probably Her Last T20 World Cup?

Cricket does not have room for 'ifs' and 'buts' but leaving Mithali Raj out of the playing XI in a semi-final is a baffling decision

Mithali Raj suffered an injury in the T20I against Ireland in the group stages and then missed out on the match against Australia. India won the match against Australia and that gave Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and coach Ramesh Powar the courage to leave someone as legendary as Mithali out of the playing XI.

The veteran’s strike rate has not been as exciting as new age T20 players have. But she is India’s highest T20I run-scorer with 2,283 runs in 85 T20Is at a staggering average of 37.42.

Mithali’s experience in tricky conditions was missed in the semi-final against England. Indian batters struggled to score on a pitch where ball gripped on the surface and slogs were as good as throwing one’s wicket.

At the end India were bundled out for 112 with 2 balls to go in the first innings. The middle order batters tried to go for big shots instead of playing it till the end and put on as many runs as possible on the scoreboard.

Here’s what Harmanrpeet had to say in the post-match presentation:

Whatever we decided, it was for the team (on resting Mithali Raj). Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. One game doesn’t decide whether we are a good team or a bad team.

The decision of leaving Mithali out of the playing XI did not go down well as England chased down the target with 17 balls to spare.

Twitter was flooded with tweets criticising leaving out the legend

The best of the lot

Not injured

The Dhoni reference

The popular opinions

So are we

Mithali also said that this might be her last T20 World Cup. If it is true, it is a sad end to a formidable T20I career.

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