Although the Indian team fell short of lifting the trophy in the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 by a mere inch, they won a billion hearts back home with a series of inspirational performances that led them to the summit clash.
If captain Mithali Raj is to be believed, the World Cup performance is “just the beginning of good times for them”.
Mithali was run-out for 17 off 31 balls and there were speculations on-air by the commentators, and the fans on social media, that Mithali had given up without trying to make her ground at the striker’s end.
But the Indian skipper rubbished such speculation and revealed that her spikes got stuck in the pitch when she took off for the run and that was why she couldn’t push herself hard in a bid to complete the run.
“I saw some weird stuff written about my run-out on social media. Actually, what happened was my spike got stuck on the pitch. Punam [Raut] called me for a run and I responded. Before I reached the half way, this thing [spike getting stuck] happened, and I don’t think the TV cameras captured it. I couldn’t push myself hard and couldn’t even make an effort to dive. I was helpless. I was gutted,” Mithali said.
Chasing 229 to win the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup, the Indian women fell nine runs short of the total. The Indian Eves were cruising towards a win at 191/3 in the 43rd over. But, a middle order collapse ensured that England edged ahead of India in the game and won the title for the fourth time.
Talking about the team’s performance in the World Cup, the Jodhpur-born cricketer described the team’s win over hosts England in the lung-opener as one of the reasons behind the team’s spirited performance, while praising her side for the way they bounced back after defeats to South Africa and Australia in the group stage.
“The most important moment for us as a team to realise was the England game, beating the hosts in the first game, the opening game of the campaign was a boost for the girls because that’s when they realised that they are capable of beating the hosts which was the second-best team in women’s cricket. Since then the girls believed that they can always turn things around.
“It was a little difficult when we lost against South Africa and Australia, but again it is bound to happen when you have a long tournament, and there are bound to be defeats. But it’s important if you are willing to be in the top four, we have to make comebacks, and the girls have really turned things around against New Zealand and Australia to make it to the finals,” added Mithali