Mithali Raj : We need to continue playing fearless brand of cricket

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Mithali Raj : We need to continue playing fearless brand of cricket

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SportsCafe Desk

08/04/2017

Mithali Raj has showered her confidence on the Indian women's team and asked them to continue playing the fearless cricket. The Indian side crumbled under pressure against England in the final after being in a commanding position in the match, to miss out on a chance to lift their maiden title.

The 34-year old Raj left an ever-lasting impact on the World Cup scoring 409 runs in the tournament ending up second on the list of highest run-getters. Apart from the three half-centuries in the tournament, Raj played a sensational knock of 109 against New Zealand to guide the Indian eves into the semi-finals. Under her captaincy, team India performed very well through out the tournament, the skipper appealed them to continue this form in the upcoming tournaments.

"It's something new for all of us to come back into the tournament from two defeats (against South Africa and Australia). The girls have really shown a fearless brand of cricket, a very confident brand of cricket. That is something we need to continue to do and improve on that," Raj told India Today.

In the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup, England restricted India to 219 handing them a nine-run defeat to deny them their first ever title owing to some outstanding death bowling by Anya Shrubsole and Alex Hartley. She revealed the phase which they faced after the big loss.

"None of the players would have had good sleep after the defeat. It will take time for all of us to accept it and make peace with it," she added.

The tournament got widespread media and television coverage for the first time and that resulted in the huge popularity of Indian women stars.

"In the larger picture, it is good for women's cricket in India. So many people have started to follow women's cricket. The whole nation was rooting for us and made us feel very special on a very special location (Lord's stadium). Sending messages from all quarters which was very overwhelming," Raj said.

After making her ODI debut way back in 1999 against Ireland Women at Milton Keynes, Raj has played 186 games for India scoring over 6,000 runs. She has six centuries and 49 half centuries to her name and has a good average of 52. 

"I haven't given it much thought. But as the runners-up in the World Cup it's important that we need to again start grooming players for the next edition. The journey has to start in a couple of months time. Now it is important for us to maintain our No. 2 position and have a direct entry. For that we need to be in the top four in the ICC Championship.

"If I'm playing for a few more years that would be my aim to see that the team doesn't have to play the qualifiers unlike this time," she concluded.

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