Mumbai: Indian Women's cricket team skipper Mithali Raj on Sunday exuded confidence that the presence of seniors cricketers in the squad will provide a fillip to the team during their campaign in the World Cup which gets underway on January 31.
"We have senior players like Jhulan Goswami, Amita Sharma, the vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who has been among runs. We have two come back players (Murugesan) Thirush Kamini, Karuna Jain, who have played the last World Cup. I am hoping that with this kind of combination, we will do very well," she told reporters at the ICC's group A captain press conference here. Mithali said that she expects high scoring matches.
"Everybody would like to see 300 on board and not 89 all out. I guess, that is the reason why everybody wants to prepare a batting track," she said. The group A teams include England, West Indies, Sri Lanka, besides India, while all the teams in group B comprising New Zealand, Pakistan, Australia and South Africa will play their matches in Cuttack.
The Indian women's team has played 199 one dayers since 1978. The Indian skipper said that the team has prepared well for the mega event, which commences on January 31 and concludes on February 17.
"After the T20, we had a domestic season, followed with two camps -- NCA in Bangalore and the other in Mumbai. The preparation has gone very well," she said. "We get into the tournament with full preparation, but it is one match at a time. I personally would like to emphasise more on the results and rather go with the process," she added.
Dispelling the perception that women cricketers can't match their male counterparts in power strokes as a myth, Mithali said the eves are at par with men. "I think comparisons are bound to happen because we play the same sport and the rules are same. People should realise at the end of the day that it is different sexes," Mithali said.
"There is one big issue about physical ability. When it comes to the mind game, or when it comes to the technique, we are on par with them. It is just that it is nature, we can't really do much about it. "I should admit that I have seen some of the amazing shots by the West Indian players. They definitely match the men's standards," she said.
Mithali said that more women matches should be televised, including the bi-lateral series to promote the game. "It would be good if more matches are televised. Not just the T20 or the world cup, but even the two nation series like England vs India or Australia vs India should be televised," she said.
Meanwhile, defending champions England skipper Charlotte Edwards said that the team has drawn a lot of confidence from the men's team, who defeated India in their home ground in the 4-match test series 2-1. "Obviously we have taken a huge amount of belief (from that victory). Most people had written them off when they were coming to India. I was pretty pleased with their performance," Edwards said.
"I have always enjoyed playing in India. It is a good place to bat, obviously lot more spin bowling. But, the wickets, especially the one at CCI is going to be really flat, so hope we can score a lot of runs in this tournament. It certainly a challenge, but a challenge we all enjoy." She added that the team is eager to start the games to translate all their hard work into result.
"We need to get ready by playing some games. We have put in hard work but need to perform now," she said. Sri Lankan skipper Shashikala Siriwardene said her team is aiming for the super six stage.
"We are hoping to do well on the particular day against these giant teams. We are aiming for super six. It is very unpredictable. We are hoping to do well against England in the first match and then against India and West Indies," Siriwardene said.