What could be their last World Cup, India women’s cricket team captain Mithali Raj and senior fast bowler Jhulan Goswami have made this a memorable one with brilliant performances with bat and ball respectively. Mithali’s side outplayed Australia at Derby in the second semi-final of the tournament on Thursday by 36 runs to set up a final clash with England at Lord’s on Sunday.
This is the second instance when India have made it to women’s World Cup final as they last did it in 2005 in South Africa under Mithali’s captaincy. Raj and Goswami are the only two players from that edition who will be playing the final on Sunday.
India didn’t really face problems in the initial stages of the competition as they grabbed wins in the first four matches but the defeats against South Africa and Australia created some pressure for their semis chances.
But a thumping win against New Zealand anchored India into the semi-final stage where they locked horns with Australia and certainly took revenge of the round-robin defeat. It has been an incredible team effort for the women in Blue but here we take a look at top five performers for them in the competition.
Opener Punam Raut has been in sublime form with the bat as she has so far scored a total of 295 runs in 8 matches. Raut’s scoring tally includes a half-century and a hundred and a score of 47 in the competition. Moreover, the right-handed batter has been clinical in her approach on a number of occasions as she has stitched some crucial partnerships with other batters for her side.
Skipper Mithali Raj has led her side from the front. With a total of 392 runs in 8 matches including three half-centuries and a hundred, Raj notched up a number of records during this World Cup campaign. She became the highest run-getter in women’s ODI cricket while also became the first women cricketer to score 6000 runs in ODI format.
Right-hander Harmanpreet Kaur faced a rough patch in the initial part of the tournament but she did prove her worth with the bat when it was needed the most. Kaur first smashed 60 runs against New Zealand in a do-or-die game while she hammered Australia in the semi-final and scored 171* in the process. Harmanpreet now has 308 runs and 5 wickets to her name in 8 matches.
Jhulan Goswami has so far scalped a total of 7 wickets in 8 matches but her economy of 4.48 has been helpful in putting a halt to flow of runs of the opponent team. She managed to grab an important wicket of Australian captain Meg Lanning and later removed Alyssa Healy.
Youngster Deepti Sharma has been the highest wicket-taker for India in this tournament. She has picked 12 wickets in 8 games.