Mithali Raj, the captain of Indian women’s team, is all set to lead India’s challenge from the front at the upcoming Women’s World Cup in England. Under her captaincy, the Indian eves will be heading into the biggest tournament in women’s cricket and seek a crown that has eluded them so far. However, they will be a confident bunch courtesy of its recent run of form. A testament to this fact is that India has comprehensively won its last four ODI series and during this period, has managed to secure wins in 16 out of the 17 games that they have played. What will also be a big bonus for the Indian side is their skippers brilliant run of form.
The batting will once again revolve around Raj, who is a prolific run-getter and is currently ranked NO.2 in ICC rankings. In her last 15 innings, she has scored 833 runs at an average of 104.12. In the recent warm-up match against Sri Lanka, Raj once again hit a fluent 85. So if this a sign of things to come then things are definitely looking up for the captain and her side.
A lot of personal records also beckon the 34-year-old. Among all the players featuring in the 2017 World Cup, Mithali Raj leads the list of run-getters with 730 runs. She needs another 212 runs to overtake Charlotte Edwards’ tally of 5992 runs as the leading run-getter in women’s ODI cricket. Currently, Mithali has 5781 runs from 177 matches at an average of 52.08.
In what will be her fifth appearance in a World Cup, Mithali Raj had recently stressed the importance of mental strength. She had also stated that she wanted her team to concentrate on reaching the semi-finals stage. However, she will also need the support of her other players and this is where players like Jhulan Goswami and Harmanpreet Kaur come into the picture. While the batting will centre around Raj and Kaur, the bowling will be led by Jhulan Goswami. Goswami recently became the highest wicket-taker in ODI history and will definitely have her tail up. She will be supported by the likes of Shikha Pandey in the pace department, while Ekta Bisht will be the leader of the spin department. If these three women click then India might just go further than Mithali’s Raj’s expectations of reaching the semis.
Before leaving for the tournament the skipper had claimed that winning the Women’s World Cup in England would revolutionise the sport in India and inspire young girls to pick up the game. “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,” Raj had said at the pre-departure press interaction in Mumbai. Only time will tell if her dreams come true and if they do then Mithali Raj might just become the face of the revolution in Indian women’s cricket.