Mithali led India from the front, emerging as the second highest run-getter of the tournament © Getty Images
Mithali led India from the front, emerging as the second highest run-getter of the tournament © Getty Images

India have had a memorable journey in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, putting up impressive performances and finishing as runners-up of the tournament. On the context, former India coach Purnima Rau commented that the team, which now boasts of many talented batters like Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and others, had looked over-dependent on captain Mithali Raj for batting when she started her journey as coach. Purnima was first appointed as the coach in 2014 but was axed after India’s poor show in that year’s Women’s World T20. However, she was brought back for India’s World Cup preparations and was surprisingly replaced by Tushar Arothe just before the World Cup. ICC name Mithali captain, include Harmanpreet, Deepti in team of Women’s World Cup 2017

Purnima revealed to Cricbuzz: “When I first took over in 2014, I felt Mithali was overburdened as a batter because the team depended on her heavily to put runs on the board. It became essential to build a group of confident batters around her. One of the things we did back then to improve the game and confidence level of the batting line-up was to start chasing when we won the toss during matches. When targets were set, game plans became clearer and they started putting plans in place.

“This team is tenacious and that’s what keeps them going. Over a period of time, they have learnt to deal with setbacks even during matches. This English summer is something each of the girls will cherish for life.”