ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020: Mithali Raj says India's win against Australia proves tournament is very 'open' and will be competitive

Raj, a former India Test and ODI captain, said that the India vs Australia match proved how competitive the tournament will be where there'll be no favourites and no easy winners

Press Trust of India, Feb 22, 2020 15:25:12 IST

Sydney: India's demolition of a formidable Australia in the Women's T20 World Cup opener will give them a huge boost going forward, said star batswoman Mithali Raj, who also lauded leggie, Poonam Yadav, for her magical performance.

Poonam took four for 19 to help India complete a 17-run victory against defending champions Australia on Friday.

ICC Womens T20 World Cup 2020: Mithali Raj says Indias win against Australia proves tournament is very open and will be competitive

The Indian team celebrate the wicket of Australia's Ashleigh Gardner in the first game of the Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup in Sydney. AP

"Everyone has been talking about how much batting depth Australia have, yet they couldn't chase 132," Raj, a former India Test and ODI captain, said in an ICC release.

"India will take so much confidence from that victory, but this World Cup is still very open. The match between Australia and India proved how competitive the tournament will be. It proves it does not matter where you stand in the ICC rankings."

"We will be seeing more of the same drama yet. This victory proves every team has a chance," said Raj, who has retired from T20 cricket.

The 37-year-old veteran batswoman said, "the opening match definitely lived up to the hype of the tournament."

"It was a whirlwind. There were so many ups and downs. It was a great start to the tournament not only because India beat the defending champions on home soil, but also because of how the game progressed altogether."

"At no point could you say it was going in one side's favour. First we saw our early wickets fall, then we recovered and Australia had to chase 132 before their middle-order collapsed. India and Australia both took the game their own way at different points which made it fascinating for spectators to watch."

Raj said Poonam's spell was the turning point.

"She's been one of the main spinners for India for quite some time now, and her style worked again. Getting their (Australia's) middle-order out really titled the match towards India, she was brilliant."

"Although we recovered our innings through Deepti Sharma and her partnership with Jemimah Rodrigues, it was Poonam's flurry of wickets against Australia's megastars, which completely changed the game," Raj said.

Raj also praised 16-year-old Shafali Verma for scoring 29 off 15 on her World Cup debut.

"Shafali Verma impressed me too on her debut. She gave India's middle-order the cushioning they needed to regain momentum. Verma has stuck with stroke play that she demonstrated in the tri-series," she said.

"I think she should be given that free-range in the first six overs because when you're playing a top team, the runs in the first six overs are so important. It was great to be 40 up after just a few overs thanks to her contribution Australia couldn't replicate that."

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Updated Date: Feb 22, 2020 15:25:12 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