Indian women’ cricket skipper Mithali Raj identify that she will never be able to place her hands on a World Cup trophy. It was a trophy that appeared within her clutch until the lower-order Indian batting imploded in impressive performs against the hosts in the final at Lord’s.
The 34-year-old Indian women’s captain Raj keep her emotions in check at the post-match presentations ceremony and said that she broke down during the team meeting after the final.
Before playing the final match against the hosts, captain Raj shares the disappointment and joys of a memorable World Cup movement to Time of India.
When asked about the recovered from that heartbreaking loss, Raj said “No, it’s not even 24 hours. The Cup was ours for the taking but we couldn’t complete that final step. It will take a while for me to make peace with it. May be, it was not written in our destiny.”
Talking about the management to lose from a winning position, she said “If I knew the answer to that I would probably be speaking to you in a much better frame of mind. After the loss of two early wickets, we were cruising with two partnerships that Punam (Raut) built with Harman (Harmanpreet Kaur) and Veda (Krishnamurthy). But then we lost our way.”
“I had my hopes till Shikha (Pandey) got run out. I think it was the inexperience of playing on such a big stage on such a big occasion. Cricket experts always talk about keeping things simple. But what I have figured out in my long career is that the hardest things to do in a crisis is to keep things simple. We made mistakes but I won’t blame anyone.”
Mithali said about her run-out, “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 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.”
When asked whether this team better equipped to win the World Cup, Mithali said “I would think so. You learn from failures and even Sunday’s defeat is a huge learning curve. This team is only going to get better from now on. We have experienced campaigners like Harmanpreet, Veda, Punam and they should see to it that they pass on the experience to younger girls.”
“It’s their duty to mould the youngsters after Jhulan and I leave the stage. I really like the way Harman has shaped up. She is showing the responsibility of carrying the team along. I think the experience of playing BBL in Australia was of immense help to her. Something on the lines of an IPL for women cricketers in India would be beneficial.”