Under Mithali Raj, Railways beat Jharkhand by seven wickets in the final at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium. Interestingly, only twice have Railways not won the title since its inception in 2006-07.
Speaking to Sports Today, Mithali Raj said that Railways were desperate to win after not capturing the title in the last two years. They lost to Bengal in the semi-final in 2018-19, while the event was not held last year due to COVID-19.
An ecstatic Mithali Raj said:
"It's an incredible feat to win the One Day Domestic Championship. It's our 12th title in the last 14 years. Being titleless in the last 2 seasons, that has made the girls hungry to win a title this year. When we lost to Bengal in the semi-final in the 2018-19 season, as a team, we put out heads down, we worked on a few things. As a captain, along with the coach, we decided not just to pick the best XI but to pick the best 20 due to the pandemic. We also inculcated in every team member that it's not enough with just getting opportunities. We told them 'if one is presented with an opportunity, they must rise to the occasion".
We want to have a compact unit: Mithali Raj
Mithali Raj attributed the team’s success to collective contributions from all members of the team. She said in this regard:
"For example, in the final, Meghna Singh, who replaced the injured Arundhati, used that one opportunity in the knockout stage. Similarly, I can speak for Sneh Rana, the stand-in captain, when I was away on national duty and the vice-captain of the team. The openers have been consistent. It's not just about individual players performing. We understand we want to have a compact unit and build a good side. That's what we've worked on over the last two years.”
Mithali Raj was the captain when the Indian Women’s team recently took on South Africa in a five-match home ODI series, which the hosts lost 1-4.
Meanwhile, the 38-year-old Mithali Raj joined Railways for the knockout stage of the recently-concluded 2021 Senior Women's One-Day Trophy.