Team benefitting from sports psychologist’s presence in NZ: Mithali Raj

India ODI captain Mithali Raj says the team is benefitting immensely from the presence of a sports psychologist during its ongoing tour of New Zealand and such professional help is the need of the hour in COVID times.

Mughda Bavare is the sports psychologist travelling with the Indian team on a two-month-long tour of New Zealand comprising a bilateral series and ODI World Cup.

Mithali had earlier also spoken on the need for a psychologist to deal with pressure of knockout games but with tours now being played in bubbles, the professional help is needed all the more.

“In today’s times, it is even more important to have them around with the team with the longer duration of tour and quarantine and bubbles,” said Mithali on the eve of the opening T20 against New Zealand here.

“It is an extended tour of two months with the ODI series and the World Cup. It does help to have one on one sessions with (sports psychologist).

“You see things in a different way and it helps you to understand your own self, to find your own ways to deal with pressure and quarantine. To have somebody is always helpful,” she added.

The team underwent a 10-day quarantine in Christchurch before travelling to Queenstown.

The MIQ in New Zealand was much more comfortable than Australia where the players had to live in tiny rooms for 14 days.

Asked what how she copes in a quarantine, Mithali added: “I read books, try to solve puzzles. Off the field, I try and divert my mind to other things.”

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