Mithali Raj : Winning the World Cup can revolutionize women's cricket in India

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Mithali Raj : Winning the World Cup can revolutionize women's cricket in India

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SportsCafe Desk

06/11/2017

Indian Women’s team skipper Mithali Raj believes that winning the Women's World Cup in England would inspire young girls to pick up the game and change the face of Women’s cricket in India. Raj also added that the seniors would have to take up the responsibility, if they want to win some silverware.

The Indian team were tagged as one of the favourites in the Women’s World Twenty20 in India last year. However, the tournament was anti-climatic as the hosts lost three close games and failed to make it into the knockout rounds. This time, though, Raj feels that the team can bury their demons and are eager to create history in the 11th edition of the World Cup. 

“We definitely want to win the World Cup. It would be a revolution kind of thing for Indian women’s cricket. It gives a big impetus for young girls to take up the sport,” said Raj at the pre-departure press interaction in Mumbai on Saturday (June 10). 

“It is a great platform to showcase the brand of cricket the girls have been playing in the past couple of years. It’s a long tour. I definitely want the girls to take one match at a time. Our first target definitely would be to get into the semis.”

Over last one year, India have been the most consistent team in the world winning 17 of their 20 One-Day Internationals, which includes an unbeaten streak of 16 games – the joint-second most in the history of women’s ODIs. After having led the team through the winning streak, Raj believes that the team could do well in the eight-team tournament.

"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. We are experienced players and we share our experience with the players. Now that it is the World Cup, a few seniors are aware of the pressure. We can be there for the juniors during the pressure situations. As senior players we can be around them.

"The format is also 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 last-four," Raj said.

Raj also stressed the importance of having good spinners in the team during the World Cup. Her hopes would have been spiked after watching the brilliant run of the Indian spin trio of Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, and Deepti Sharma in last year.

"Honestly everybody prefers to have extra fast bowlers in the side," Mithali told reporters in Mumbai on the eve of the team's departure. "But India have always banked on spinners, irrespective of the wicket. Whether in Australia, South Africa (or elsewhere), spinners have done exceptionally well. The fast bowlers have been doing well in the past two series as well," she added.

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