New Delhi: Mithali Raj and Co. were felicitated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in the capital for their scintillating show at the recently concluded ICC Women's World Cup 2017, on Thursday.
The team seemed to be in high spirits despite missing out on the trophy by just a whisker, especially the skipper, who lifted the lid from some of the off-field things during the World Cup, that really caught the imagination of fans back home.
The picture of Mithali reading a book during India's opening match of the tournament against England went viral and the skipper has finally revealed the reason for it.
"I don't like to prepare myself ahead of the match as I like to play according to the situation. I feel that if I am calm and composed while going to bat, I will be able to play much better cricket. That is why I carry a book along with me. I read a lot during the course of the tournament as it was a long one, but in that particular match, I was reading the biography of Nasser Hussain," revealed Mithali during the press meet.
Not just that, Mithali and fellow teammate Veda Krishnamurthy were seen dancing in the dug-out during India's crunch semi-final clash against Australia — who were also the defending champions.
When asked about it, Mithali said: "Veda and I were signing songs while sitting in the dug out during Harmanpreet Kaur's unbelievable innings against Australia. Veda is a really good dancer and she couldn't hold herself back and I decided to join in as well. If I remember it correctly, the song was 'Shape of You'."
Not just off the field, the players performed brilliantly on the field as well, so much so that the team's 'Holy Trinity' — Mithali, Harmanpreet and Deepti Sharma were included in the ICC's Team of the World Cup as well.
19-year-old Deepti was particularly ecstatic with this honour so early in her career. The young all-rounder impressed with both bat and ball as she picked up 12 wickets and also contributed 219 runs with the bat, which included two half-centuries.
"This is the first time that I have been selected in the ICC's Team of the World Cup and I am feeling really happy that I managed to do so. This has given me immense confidence to do well in future tournaments as well," Deepti Sharma told Cricketnext during a chat on the sidelines of the event.
India's batting did most of the talking throughout the tournament but there were few stars who shone with the ball as well. One such name was Ekta Bisht, who spun a web around the best players of the world in the World Cup.
Ekta's best performance came against arch-rivals Pakistan, where she picked up a five-wicket haul to help India defend a low score, when the batters had an uncharacteristic off day.
"When Pakistan restricted us to a low score, we spoke among ourselves that the match isn't lost yet as we are yet to bowl. There wasn't any pressure on us as such but the one thing that was playing on our minds was that we were playing Pakistan and the fans back home must be expecting a lot from us," Ekta Bisht told Cricketnext.
"I managed to pick five wickets to help India win the match. But this is not the first time as I picked a five wicket haul against Pakistan early in my career as well. So, now I have started to think that whenever we will play Pakistan, I will take five wickets," she chuckled.
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