Mithali Raj Led India Eye First ICC Title
- India will play for ICC World Cup trophy with the arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday.
- Mithali Raj and veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami will be playing their last World Cup.
- Pakistan is the lowest-ranked team in the tournament.
New Zealand: Team India-led by Mithali Raj will play its first match of the ongoing Women’s 50-over World Cup on Sunday as it locks horns against Pakistan. Team India was the runner up in the 2017 edition and the performance in that event is one big reason for the rising popularity of women’s sport in the country. However, this being Mithali’s last ICC event, the team would want to send the trailblazer on a high.
The side won both its warm-up games against South Africa and West Indies, but there are plenty of areas that need fixing. The bowling unit let the side down in the series against New Zealand, and it was only Jhulan Goswami doing the bulk of the work. India failed to defend scores of 270+ on two occasions against New Zealand and it is a big concern heading into the marquee event.
The batting side was able to show good performances and the total of 250+ has been breached five times in the last seven games. Harmanpreet Kaur’s form has been a concern but she managed to score a fifty against New Zealand and then a century against South Africa in the warm-up game. Shafali Verma’s form has been a worry but the side would desperately want the swashbuckling opener to find form and take her side to a good total in the powerplay overs.
Pakistan is the lowest rank side in the ongoing tournament and heading into the match against India, they would definitely be the underdogs. Squads: India: Mithali Raj (c), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Harmanpreet Kaur, Yastika Bhatia, Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Rich Ghosh (wk), Taniya Bhatia (wk), Sneh Rana, Meghna Singh, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Jhulan Goswami, Renuka Singh.