ICC Women’s World Cup 2017: India skipper Mithali Raj puts faith on spinners
India skipper Mithali Raj said spinners have always done well for the team, and will continue to play key roles at ICC Women’s World Cup 2017cricket Updated: Jun 11, 2017 00:25 IST
Mithali Raj, captain of the Indian women’s team, has stated that the team will be heavily reliant on its spinners going into the ICC Women’s World Cup being held in England & Wales, June 24 onward.
“Honestly everybody prefers to have extra fast bowlers in the side. But India have always banked on spinners, irrespective of the wicket. Whether in Australia, South Africa (or elsewhere), spinners have done exceptionally well. The three fast bowlers have also been doing well in the past two series,” said Mithali speaking prior to the team’s departure.
The team goes into the world championships on back of a victorious quadrangular series in South Africa that saw several records being rewritten by Indian players. Punam Raut and Deepti Sharma’s 300 run stand was a first in women’s ODIs. Former captain Jhulan Goswami also became the leading wicket-taker during the series.
“We are happy with the preparations. We had a good tour of South Africa. It made a lot of difference to the girls, especially for young players like Deepti and Punam. It sorted a lot of issues for us because India has always struggled with the opening pair,” said Mithali.
Reaching the semifinals will be first step for the team in their eventual pursuit of the title according to the skipper.
“We definitely want to win the World Cup. It is a great platform to show the kind of cricket the girls have been playing for the past couple of years,” said 34-year old Mithali.
“The format is different this time in this edition. It’s a league-cum-knockout and is a long tour. I want the girls to take it one match at a time. Our first step would be to get into the semis,” said asserted.
Mithali said the toss could become crucial when asked about the weather playing the dictator’s role in shaping matches; like seen in the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy.
“Its early summer there and chances of rain are very much there, so toss is going to play a very important role.”
“We will see how we shuffle our batting order. And wickets are also important. But I am not able to say right now how we are going to prepare in those conditions. We already have witnessed (in the men’s Champions Trophy) how teams are posting 300-plus targets in good sunlight conditions. We will also hope to get such days for our matches,” said Mithali.
India will play two warm-up games against New Zealand (June 19) and Sri Lanka (June 21) ahead of their opening round robin fixture against England on June 24.
India then play West Indies (June 29), Pakistan (July 2), Sri Lanka (July 5), South Africa (July 8), Australia (July 12) and New Zealand (July 15).
Four teams will qualify for the semifinals. The final will be played at the Lord’s on July 23.
Squad: Mithali Raj (Captain), Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, Mona Meshram, Punam Raut, Deepti Sharma, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Ekta Bisht, Sushma Verma, Mansi Joshi, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Nuzhat Parveen, Smriti Mandhana.