India has never lost an ODI to Pakistan in women’s cricket history, but captain Mithali Raj said the Women in Blue would not take lightly at the Women’s World Cup. India, who reached the final of the 2017 World Cup, will meet Pakistan in their opening match at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Sunday, March 6.
On the eve of their opening game in New Zealand, captain Mithali Raj said India will see the opening game as an opportunity to add momentum to the tournament.
India had a poor run in their limited overs series against New Zealand, losing their lone T20I and first four ODIs for the 5-match series. However, the Asian nation has built some winning momentum, claiming victories in the recent ODI against New Zealand and their two warm-up games.
“I think Pakistan is a good team too and I’m sure they’ve prepared very hard for the tournament and so have we. Any team here, we can’t take any team lightly. So we’ll go into each game with a lot of effort.” full of intensity and with a lot of confidence,” said Mithali Raj.
“As a team we are looking forward to attending the World Cup and starting our campaign tomorrow. We don’t see it as playing against Pakistan, we look at a team that has prepared and we are prepared to do our best.
“We want to add momentum to the tournament and that’s how we see the tournament.”
“GOOD TO SEE HARMANPREET UNDER THE SLOPES”
Meanwhile, Mithali Raj stressed the importance of having an in-form Harmanpreet Kaur, saying the star-batter’s presence adds to the firepower in the middle tier.
Harmanpreet has struggled for form over the past two years but the T20I captain posted a 100 match win in the warm-up against South Africa after posting a 50 match win against the New Zealand team in the most recent ODI.
“Well, it’s important. She (Harmanpreet) is one of the core members of the team and her experience plays a role in the middle,” added Raj.
“She also tends to play with her tail because she comes in the mid-overs and with the game she’s got it’s very important that she gets in shape because we’re trying to do a lot in the top order to score high. So it’s good to see them running just before the tournament.”
“JHULAN GOSWAMI’S EXPERIENCE OF INVALID VALUE”
The India skipper said the vast experience of veteran pacemaker Jhulan Goswami will help the team throughout the World Cup.
“Both of us (me and Jhulan) have been part of the dressing room for quite some time. We’ve enjoyed representing our country and we’ve had a lot of wins and losses and I just think it’s great to have them (Jhulan) play this World Cup,” she said.
“And over the years she has been the front line bowler for India and delivered every time I gave her a ball. So her experience as a fast bowler will always help the team and the young speedsters in the team going into this World Cup.”
‘I want to use Deepti Sharma as a pure all-rounder’