ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020: Mithali Raj predicts 'very close' opening game; touts Australia to win title on home turf

Female stars emerging as role models has been the biggest change in women's cricket's journey from near-anonymity to stardom, feels Mithali, who grew up idolising her male counterparts

Press Trust of India, Feb 20, 2020 16:39:28 IST

The seasoned Mithali Raj has declared Australia as favourites to win Friday's Women's T20 World Cup opener against India in what she expects to be a high-scoring and "very close" game.

ICC Womens T20 World Cup 2020: Mithali Raj predicts very close opening game; touts Australia to win title on home turf

File image of Mithali Raj. AFP

"Australia go in as favourites, but India will be no pushover. They have some very talented players and I think it will be a very close, high-scoring game," Mithali wrote in a column for ICC.

"Both teams have exciting players, particular in the batting units, and it will be a case of whoever can score the runs that their country need on the day. I do think Australia have the advantage because of their T20 record and have a slightly better chance of winning the first game against India," she added.

Female stars emerging as role models has been the "biggest change" in women's cricket's journey from near-anonymity to stardom, feels Mithali, who grew up idolising her male counterparts.

When Mithali started out in 1999, women's cricket was almost an unknown entity, a far cry from what it is on the eve of the T20 World Cup in Australia where the opening contest between India and the hosts is expected to witness sellout crowds.

"Back in my day, we only had male players as inspiration because that's all we used to see on the television. Today a young girl can have a role model in the form of a female cricketer and I think that's the biggest change I have seen," Mithali wrote.

She recalled the changes the women's game has seen since she played her first ODI more than 20 years ago.

"The biggest difference is people are now aware of what's going on with their national team. When I broke the world record for the highest individual Test score in 2002, people didn't know about it unless they were going out to buy the newspapers."

The veteran added, "We used to travel to different places all over the world to play but barely got any time to acclimatise. There was no travel or daily allowance, nor a physio or strength and conditioning trainer to look out for a fitness. We travelled to matches with just our head coach and manager and just didn't have any form of cushioning."

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Updated Date: Feb 20, 2020 16:39:28 IST


IPL 2020 POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Chennai
0 0 0 0 0
2
Delhi
0 0 0 0 0
3
Kolkata
0 0 0 0 0
4
Punjab
0 0 0 0 0
5
Mumbai
0 0 0 0 0
6
Bangalore
0 0 0 0 0
7
Rajasthan
0 0 0 0 0
8
Hyderabad
0 0 0 0 0
View Full Table




Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5211 116
2 New Zealand 3959 110
3 Australia 4320 108
4 England 5253 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
6 Sri Lanka 4191 91
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5602 112
5 Australia 5915 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 7815 269
3 England 6407 267
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 6220 259
6 New Zealand 7114 245