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2022 Women WC: Mithali wants her team have believe to turn things around

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Mount Maunganui, March 5 (IANS) Ahead of their opening their clash against arch-rivals Pakistan, India captain Mithali Raj on Saturday said that she wants her team to be confident and have belief in themselves to turn things around as well as play according to the situation in the 2022 Women’s ODI World Cup.

In a search of an elusive ICC trophy, the Indian women’s team will begin their Women’s ODI World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan in a marquee game on Sunday.

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“I think as a team, we need to get in with a clean slate, confident unit. And believe that we can always turn things around and play according to the situation,” said Mithali, who is embarking on her record sixth World Cup appearance, on the eve of the game.

“It’s very important when you have a longer tournament — important to be present. Be aware on the ground and play according to the situation,” she added.

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Though India are facing Pakistan, the skipper is looking at it like any other game and wants to win and set a momentum going into the tournament.

“I think as a team we are excited to get into the World Cup and start our campaign tomorrow. It’s the first game, we are not looking a’ it as it’s Pakistan we are playing against, we’re looking at a team that has come prepared and we are equally prepared to put our best foot forward and we want to set a momentum going into the tournament, so that’s how we look at our first game,” she said.

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“Every time we play a World Cup, every game is very different — different locations, different conditions, different opponents,” she added.

Taking about the preparations of her side, Mithali said, “We’ve tried to give everybody a go in the warm-up game, so that everybody gets into the rhythm, they form the core players — and for tomorrow’s game I think all of them have been watching the first opening game and everybody has their set plans.”

On the other hand, Pakistan skipper Bismah Maroof also believes that her side has worked on their shortcomings.

“We are well prepared and we had good practice sessions and good warm-up games and I think the things we haven’t done well in the last year, we have spoken about. Whoever takes the pressure well and plays to their strength — that team will win. We’re hoping for a good match tomorrow,” said Maroof.

Pakistan have built a settled bowling line-up, and if the batters can follow the bowlers’ example, Maroof believes Pakistan could record a famous victory.

“We haven’t lived up to the mark yet — we have spoken about that we haven’t scored much as the top order should, and we are hoping that in this World Cup as a batting unit, we can put up a good show,” she said.

“We have improved as a fast-bowling unit, especially Diana [Baig] and Fatima Sana have come far and I think we have gelled together. It’s just that we have the right combination in our bowling that all the bowlers complement each other and it’s just the batting. We’re looking forward to that if we can put up a good show in the batting, our bowling can do well,” she added.

–IANS

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