One of the major factors that helped Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s India win the 2011 World Cup was the excellent exploitation of home conditions.
India women’s skipper Mithali Raj wants to emulate the men’s team as they start their campaign to win their maiden World Cup. India take on West Indies in the ICC Women’s World Cup opening game at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium today.
“I honestly feel if you have a flat track, it could be anybody’s game. The wickets we saw were quite flat here which could be helpful for batswomen. Like we saw in the warm-up matches, 250 and 300-plus scores can be easily achieved.
“Some of their (WI) players are not keeping well and they still have to get acclimatised to the conditions. That might work in our favour. I am sure the girls will put up a good show.
“The only advantage we have (as host nation) is a better idea of the conditions,” said Raj, who enters the competition as No 1 batswoman in ODIs on the ICC Women’s Player Rankings.
WI still developing
The 30-year-old Raj, who will appear in her fourth successive World Cup, refused to take ‘developing’ West Indies lightly. “They’ve come a long way in the last couple of years and have some hard-hitters in the team that we need to be careful of. Last year, we lost the one-dayers when we toured West Indies.
They are a side who are developing every year,” she said. “Our bowling needs to be tightened up. Fielding will also play a crucial role,” she added.
Meanwhile, India will have to watch out for West Indies spinner Anisa Mohammed, who claimed 7-14 in the final of the ICC World Cup Qualifier in 2011 against Pakistan. “Anisa has been a consistent
wicket-taker against India,” stressed Raj.