Women's World T20 controversy: Decision to bench Mithali Raj backed by selector
What's the story?
Mithali Raj's exclusion from the playing XI against England garnered a lot of attention from the fans after India's humiliating loss against England in the second semi-final. Many fans lashed out on Harmanpreet Kaur and Ramesh Powar for the axing of the former captain of the Indian team.
As per Times of India, the Indian (women's) team manager Trupti Bhattacharya has made some strong allegation against the selector Sudha Shah. As per Trupti's report, Sudha Shah backed the move of Mithali Raj's exclusion from the playing XI for the semi-final game against England.
“I, as manager, convened the meeting. They (captain, coach, and selector) discussed the wicket and the coach expressed that the same winning combination against Australia should play. Harman and Smriti shared the same view and also told the selector, Sudha Shah, that an extra bowler would help the team. Sudha Shah agreed to the XI and did not express anything," read Trupti Bhattacharya’s report.
After having won all of their league matches, India played England in the semi-final. However, the English proved to be too good for India as England humbled India by eight wickets. India went off to a great start but dismantled towards the business end of the innings.
Despite a stable platform up their sleeve, India faltered from 89-3 to 112-10 without completing their quota of 20 overs. Inexperience seemed to be the problem for India as they lacked a flag-bearer in their batting line-up. Moreover, Mithali Raj's absence made the case worse for the India team out there in the middle.
The heart of the matter
As per the report, the Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur, vice-captain Smriti Mandhana, and coach Ramesh Powar met around 6 pm on the eve of the semi-final to finalize the preferred combination to go in the game.
The team management finalized the playing XI only after having a look at the pitch behaviour which was evident after the first semi-final between West Indies and Australia. The very decision also came in the presence of selectors said the Indian Women's team manager in a report which is certainly going to raise eyebrows about the approach of the Indian management in Mithali Raj's exclusion from the playing XI for a very high profile game.