Indian captain Mithali Raj said that the team’s aim would be to reach the semi-final of the ICC Women’s World Cup that is set start from June 24 in England. Mithali said that the team’s dominant performance in the recently concluded quadrangular series in South Africa alongwith Zimbabwe and Ireland was good preparation but they won’t be resting on their past laurels. “The Quadrangular Series was very good preparation in terms of gaining confidence and sorting out the composition of the team, but we can’t really depend on past glory,” she is quoted as saying by the official website of the International Cricket Counclil. “Our first target will be to reach the semi-finals, but for that you need to be able to play good cricket throughout the tournament and have good momentum,” she said.
Raj struck her sixth successive half-century in the final of the quadrangular series as India beat South Africa by eight wickets.
The tournament also saw a record opening stand of 320 by Deepti Sharma and Punam Raut against Ireland, the first partnership of more than 300 runs in women’s cricket.
“The conditions there (South Africa) are completely different to what we are facing here in England. We can take a lot of confidence, but we need to start fresh again in the World Cup. The girls, coming from Indian and South African tracks, are adapting to English conditions – it will take a while, but the girls are getting used to it.”
It will be the fourth time that Mithali plays in the World Cup and she said that it is a big stage that comes after four years of preparation. “The World Cup is a big stage, and that’s four years of preparation. We’re looking forward to it, it’s going to be my fourth World Cup, so I’m looking forward to some good games,” she said.
Indian batters were the ones who stole the show in the Quadrangular series. Their astonishing performances has effectively made India one of the favourites to lift the trophy.
“For me, the Quadrangular Series was fantastic – we played very convincingly and as a team we performed really well. We’re looking to produce the same kind of performance over here,” she said, “It will be my sixth or seventh time I’ve played in England; I love to play here, the culture of cricket is totally different.”