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ICC Women's World Cup 2017: First Target Will be To Reach Semis, Says Mithali Raj

PTI | Updated: June 22, 2017, 12:39 PM IST
ICC Women's World Cup 2017: First Target Will be To Reach Semis, Says Mithali Raj

Mithali Raj. (Getty Images)

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London: Indian cricket team captain Mithali Raj says reaching the semi-final will be their first target in the ICC Women's World Cup starting Saturday.

Mithali, who led India for the 100th time in her ODI career in May, struck a century four years ago in a seventh-place play-off to salvage something for India in what was a disappointing campaign.

However, after a record-breaking feat in a quadrangular series recently, she is optimistic about India's chances in the mega event.

"The Quadrangular Series was very good preparation in terms of gaining confidence and sorting out the composition of the team, but we can't really depend on past glory," she said.

"Our first target will be to reach the semi-finals, but for that you need to be able to play good cricket throughout the tournament and have good momentum," Raj was quoted as saying in the ICC's official website.

Raj struck her sixth successive half-century in the final of the quadrangular series as India beat South Africa by eight wickets.

The tournament also saw a record opening stand of 320 by Deepti Sharma and Punam Raut against Ireland, the first partnership of more than 300 runs in women's cricket.

"The conditions there (South Africa) are completely different to what we are facing here in England. We can take a lot of confidence, but we need to start fresh again in the World Cup.

"The girls, coming from Indian and South African tracks, are adapting to English conditions it will take a while, but the girls are getting used to it."

With the batters seemingly in very good form for India, the team's hopes of progressing to the semi-finals in England may come down to the strength of their bowling department.

Leading the attack, once again, will be the 34-year-old Jhulan Goswami the leading wicket taker in women's ODI cricket with 185 scalps in 155 matches.

"The World Cup is a big stage, and that's four years of preparation. We're looking forward to it, it's going to be my fourth World Cup, so I'm looking forward to some good games," she said.

"For me, the Quadrangular Series was fantastic we played very convincingly and as a team we performed really well. We're looking to produce the same kind of performance over here."

"It will be my sixth or seventh time I've played in England; I love to play here, the culture of cricket is totally different."
First Published: June 21, 2017, 5:34 PM IST
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