Committee of Administrators (CoA) member and former India captain Diana Edulji on Monday defended the exclusion of Mithali Raj from the women’s World T20 semi-final, saying the team management’s decision cannot be questioned.
Mithali’s omission from the playing eleven against England triggered a controversy and it intensified after India were handed an eight-wicket drubbing, shattering their dreams of a maiden ICC title.
“I think too much is being made out of it. The management (captain Harmanpreet Kaur, coach Ramesh Powar, vice-captain Smriti Mandhana and selector Sudha Shah) made the decision of not changing a winning combination and that backfired. If India had won the game, I am sure nobody would have questioned their decision,” Edulji, a former India captain, said.
“We can’t be questioning the team eleven. Another example is of Krunal Pandya, who was thrashed in the first T20 but bounced back strongly yesterday. These things happen in the game,” she said referring to the men’s team’s six-wicket win in the third T20I against Australia on Sunday.
Mithali, who had missed the last pool game against eventual champions Australia as she was recovering from a knee injury, was available for the crucial game against England. In the two innings Mithali played in the tournament, she scored 51 and 56, against Ireland and Pakistan respectively.
Harmanpreet defended the decision to keep Mithali out of the eleven, saying “whatever we decided, we decided for the team”. However, she was slammed by the latter’s manager Annisha Gupta, who claimed that the 35-year-old was a victim of politics and favouritism.