Mithali Raj, captain of the Indian team which has qualified for the women’s World Cup to be held in England in June-July, is just hoping that the team doesn’t burn out before the mega event.
“If you remember, the build-up has always been very good for us in the last couple of World Cups. This time too, we had a very good home series against the West Indies, won the Asia Cup and now the World Cup qualifiers in Colombo.
“It is important that we continue the momentum and sustain the same kind of focus,” said the 34-year-old Mithali in an exclusive chat with The Hindu.
“It will be great if we regroup before the World Cup to sort out a few issues like doing better in the first PowerPlay and build a strong opening partnership.
The run-rate of about three was fine in the qualifiers. But, against good sides like England and Australia in the World Cup, you need to change gears,” Mithali said.
“I am glad that the different combinations we tried in the World Cup qualifiers worked well. Especially, in bowling I had my own apprehensions before the start as we were without Jhulan Goswami and Smriti Mandhana. I didn’t expect our bowlers to do so well,” said Mithali, who will be playing her fifth World Cup.
“I am pleased with the way Mona Meshram, Deepti Sharma, Devika Vaidya and Mansi Joshi performed in Sri Lanka,” she said.
“I must give full credit to our strong middle-order which invariably rose to the occasion. Yes, we need to post bigger totals in an event like the World Cup to win consistently against stronger teams,” Mithali said.
“Definitely, we hope to have the same bunch of players who figured in the World Cup qualifiers as they are fresh from the victory and high on confidence too,” Mithali added.
Mithali said that she was definitely disappointed to miss the final because of a muscle strain, but was delighted that the team showed great spirit and nerves to win the final.
“Personally, I would just like to continue my good form with the bat into the World Cup,” said Mithali, who has 5614 runs from 172 matches. “Right now I am enjoying the game and will keep playing as long as I do that. There are no second thoughts in this regard as of now,” she concluded.