The name Mithali Raj has become synonymous with Women’s Cricket in India. For a very long time, the women’s team has been hidden in the shadows of the men in blue. While it is not the fault of the men’s team, the nation, on the whole, has to realize that the - I’d like to say better half - of the Men’s cricket team deserve equal support, love, and respect.
India is hugely obsessed with cricket. To the point that it has been called a religion. This world cup should put the spotlight on the women’s cricket team and bring out the much-needed encouragement from the country. It is an Indian Cricket Team nevertheless.
Mithali Raj (captain), Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, Smriti Mandhana, Mona Meshram, Nuzhat Parween, Shikha Pandey, Punam Raut, Deepti Sharma, Sushma Verma and Poonam Yadav
June 24 V England
June 29 V West Indies
July 2 V Pakistan
July 5 V Sri Lanka
July 8 V South Africa
July 12 V Australia
July 15 V New Zealand
Players to look out for:
Captain Mithali Raj. She’s ranked second in the ICC Women’s Batting Rankings. Her achievement speaks for her. She is approximately 200 runs away from topping the list of ODI top scorers. She is an inspirational captain who is set to become the third player to lead her team in 100 One Day Internationals. Harmanpreet Kaur ranked 9th on the ICC list can give her the company.
Jhulan Goswami is third on the ICC Bowling Rankings and is the wicket-taker. A lot of the team’s hopes rides on her. This could be the 34-year-old’s last world cup and she would want to exit with a bang. She hopes to get some support from Shikha Pandey and Ekta Bisht (ranked sixth in the ICC Bowling list).
Young all-rounder Deepti Sharma’s record-breaking play makes her someone to watch out for. Along with Punam Raut and Smriti Mandhana, the lineup of this team looks formidable indeed.
The batting strength is deep. Bowling during death overs needs to be worked on. This tournament is the exposure that they need to bring out the best in them. This is a young squad. The combination of experience with youth can be a great thing. Or the clash could be the reason for their downfall. Time will tell.