Despite India sitting at the top of the Women’s World Cup standings after three games, captain Mithali Raj feels her team still have plenty to work on as it as they prepare to face Sri Lanka on Wednesday. “We definitely will look into the fact that we don’t lose wickets back-to-back because that puts a lot of pressure on the incoming batters as well as the team. We need to work on our partnerships as batters,” said Raj. India has won all three of its games so far in the tournament but needed its bowlers to dig it out of trouble against Pakistan in Derby on Sunday. India was restricted to just 169 from its 50 overs and Pakistan had looked to be in a good position to get its first win of the competition but Ekta Bisht’s excellent spell of five for 18 helped bowl Pakistan out for just 74.
However, Raj is more concerned about India’s batting and is keen for her side to build partnerships when it faces Sri Lanka. “In terms of bowling, the spinners have been doing well, (against Pakistan) the pacers looked better than the last two games so it depends on which wicket we play on against Sri Lanka. If it’s a fresh wicket, then we have different plans for it,” said the India skipper. Raj praised her bowlers for managing to keep it tight and not concede too many runs with a small total to defend. Mansi Joshi came into the side for her first game of the tournament and took two for nine as India kept up its perfect record.
“Because Mansi was playing her first game of the World Cup (against Pakistan) and it was a situation where we needed wickets and not to lose runs in the first 10 overs, it was a crucial situation for us. “We knew if we got wickets there was a good chance for us to be in the game. That’s why I wanted to go with experienced bowlers. They are in a better position and experience. I’m really happy that Ekta rose to the occasion and delivered what the team required of her.” Meanwhile, despite losing all three of its opening games, Sri Lanka captain Inoka Ranaweera says there are positives to take from the performances, including Sunday’s seven-wicket defeat to England. And with Sri Lanka unlikely to progress to the knockout stages, Ranaweera is keen for her side to end its stay in England on a high. “At the moment India is doing really well so we’ll definitely have to play very good cricket against them to win. As a team though we’re in good condition, we are batting really well compared to the last few years,” she said.
“We managed to get over 200 against Australia and England, which is a big thing for us. We’ll be trying to do our best as a team against India,” she added.
India: Mithali Raj (captain), Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, Smriti Mandhana, Mona Meshram, Nuzhat Parween, Shikha Pandey, Poonam Raut, Deepti Sharma, Sushma Verma and Poonam.
Sri Lanka: Inoka Ranaweera (captain), Chamari Athapaththu, Chandima Gunaratne, Nipuni Hansika, Ama Kanchana, Eshani Lokusooriya, Harshitha Madhavi, Dilani Manodara, Hasini Perera, Chamari Polgampala, Udeshika Prabodani, Oshadhi Ranasinghe, Shashikala Siriwardena, Prasadani Weerakodi and Sripali Weerakkody.