Few hours are left before the Indian women’s cricket team take the field against hosts England in the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017. Social media is abuzz with people from all walks of life wishing the Mithali Raj-led team to emerge victorious in the final frontier at the Mecca of Cricket, Lord’s. The iconic venue will host the first ever women’s world cup match. Raj has predicted that the match will witness a lot of runs on July 23.

“We don’t play at the Lord’s very often. Last time when I played here, the pitch did not offer much,” the skipper said. However, the veteran expected that the team will bat well and amass a lot of runs in the crucial match. India stormed into the finals after their win over defending champions Australia in the semi-finals on July 20. Harmanpreet Kaur played a swashbuckling 171* in that encounter.

“We need to keep it as simple as we have been throughout the tournament and see where it takes us in the final. Looking at the wicket, it looks full of runs and any venue where you’ve scored runs previously always gives you confidence. It gives you confidence but you have to have that focus and put in the work to score your runs,” she said.

The last instance when the Indian women’s team made it to the ICC World Cup final was in 2005. Led by Mithali Raj, they had lost to Australia by 98 runs. They finished seventh in the last edition of the tournament. The final match is indeed special for seamer Jhulan Goswami as she is just 4 runs short of becoming the first Indian cricketer to score 1000 runs and take 100 wickets in the ODI format.

Jhulan Goswami

Jhulan Goswami becomes the highest wicket taker in Women’s ODI with 181 wickets.

All eyes will be set on the batters like Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma and Veda Krishnamurthy in the finale. As far as bowling is concerned, the Women in Blue will depend on seamers Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey. Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav and Harmanpreet are quality spinners.

All eyes will be set on the batters like Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma and Veda Krishnamurthy in the finale. As far as bowling is concerned, the Women in Blue will depend on seamers Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey. Meanwhile, the spin department, that boasts of quality tweakers like Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav and Harmanpreet is also expected to play a crucial role and restrict English women from scoring runs.

Also read: ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 final: Sports and B-Town celebs wish Indian team ahead of finals

Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced a cash prize of Rs 50 lakh for each member of the Indian women’s cricket team. The cricket body also announced a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh to each member of the support staff.

Meanwhile, England should not be underestimated as they have beaten India six out of ten times they met in the World Cups. India will look forward to defying the detractors and win the coveted trophy for the first time.

Also read: Mithali Raj says winning the Women’s World Cup will be a REVOLUTION in women’s cricket in India

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