Uphill task for India in Women’s World Cup: Purnima
By N Jagannath Das - HYDERABAD
29th January 2013 11:39 AM
There is an air of optimism. With the women’s cricket World Cup starting from Wednesday in Mumbai, all eyes will be on the Mithali Raj-led Indian team. Will the women’s team repeat the Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s 2011 feat of lifting the World Cup at home? Incidentally, it is being held in Mumbai, where Dhoni and his men made history. However, Purnima Rau, the former Indian captain, is bit skeptical about India’s chances. “I would be happy and delighted if India wins the World Cup but if one goes by the recent records Australia and England are favourites to corner the glory,’’ said Purnima.
As a matter of fact, the only time India won an international tournament was way back in 1995 under Rau’s captaincy in New Zealand in which Australia was the third team.
On India’s chances
It will be an uphill task for India. The recent home series against Australia and England was disaster for India. We lost even the home series badly. We have to play extraordinary cricket to beat the likes of England, Australia or New Zealand. Even West Indies have improved by leaps and bounds. Unfortunately, India have not shown the necessary progress to exude confidence.
On Indian players
We need young legs for this one-day tournament but the selectors have relied on old hands. One-day cricket is all about quick running between the wickets and all round athleticism. We are lacking in these two departments. Mithali has been a good accumulator of runs but she should show more urgency in her approach. She has the experience but age is not on her side as she is already 30. However, I feel if India were to do well, Harmanpreet Kaur has to play a big role in the tournament. She has the knack of getting quick runs. On the bowling front, both Jhulan Goswami and Amita Sharma are not getting younger. They have to share the workload. The Indian attack, particularly the pace department, looks pedestrian.Under the circumstances, the left-arm spin duo of Ekta Bist and Gouhar Sultana will have to make an impact with the ball. They are good. But with Sultana recovering from illness, she needs to put in extra effort.
On progress of women’s cricket in India
There is no planning with regards to women’s cricket by the BCCI. The women’s cricket is a neglected lot. Sense of urgency is lacking among the officials. There is lack of professionalism and we go into the World Cup without any proper planning or training. On the other hand, if you see other teams like Australia, England or New Zealand, they have raised the bar. I also like the way Pakistan have shown interest in the women’s cricket.
On women’s cricket at the international level
Women cricketers have become more professional. Cricketers from Australia, England, New Zealand have shown tremendous athleticism on the field. There are few big hitters who can clear the field. For instance Deandra Dotting hit a ton off 38 deliveries in a T20 match. Sarah Taylor has a chance for playing Sussex second XI in Englishcounty. Taylor is a superb wicketkeeper and a fine batter. She keeps the wickets without pads and could be the star of this World Cup. Australia have the right balance to win the WC. My money would be on Australia or England.
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