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India Women’s ODI captain Mithali Raj, who confirmed recently that the 2021 edition of the Women’s World Cup in New Zealand will be her last, said that winning the coveted trophy will be a big boost to women’s cricket in India.

“I also hope we win the World Cup, which will be my last. Women’s cricket in India has improved a lot and has a bright future. But if we win the World Cup it will be a big boost for women’s cricket in the country. I hope we go one step ahead in the 50-over World Cup this time,” Raj said while speaking at Salaam Cricket 2020.

India have been consistent performers in the World Cups in the recent past. They reached the final of both the 2017 World Cup and the T20 World Cup earlier this year, but they stumbled at the final hurdle on both occasions.

Raj said that is mainly a issue of their mindset and their inability to handle pressure. So, they will need to sort that out so that it doesn’t happen again.

“Skillwise we are not lacking at all, we have the best facilities and experts. We have hard-working players as well, in terms of fitness and fielding. In big matches, we need our mental set up to be strong. Skill is not the only factor in big games and tournaments, we also need to handle pressure in a composed way as a team.

“What I have noticed in the last 2-3 ICC events is that we get nervous on the big stage. It is easily visible also. Our team enters the league stage with so much confidence but we need to work on being mentally stronger in the knockout games.

“It’s like a trend with the Indian team that we win the first two games and then lose the final in ICC events. We need to work on that.

“When we go to the World Cups, we do so well in the beginning, the expectations also skyrocket from there on but in the knockouts we are not able to prepare for that mentally.

“We don’t lose overnight, it is more about keeping your mind strong and that is collectively as a team we need to find a way and work on.”

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