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‘Future is definitely bright’ – Mithali Raj optimistic after India’s 2022 Women’s World Cup exit

India ODI skipper Mithali Raj sounded disappointed after her team’s exit from the 2022 Women’s World Cup. On Sunday, March 27, the Women in Blue lost to Sune Luus’ South Africa by three wickets at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. India’s elimination meant West Indies, led by Stafanie Taylor, made their way through to the semis after finishing fourth in the points table.

Mithali, who’s the all-time leading run-scorer in Women’s ODIs, reckoned India have plenty of players, who could win matches for the team in the future. She lauded the likes of Richa Ghosh, Yastika Bhatia, Sneh Rana and Meghna Singh, who all played crucial role throughout India’s campaign in the 50-over mega event.

Mithali Raj speaks up after India’s World Cup elimination

“I think the future definitely is very bright looking at Richa [Ghosh], Yastika and we have of course, Sneh Rana – she made a comeback, we have Meghna [Singh] who’s in the stand by and these girls will definitely play in the coming years good standard of cricket and the way they get the exposure of playing different leagues and playing regularly with the best of the best in the world, I’m sure the team will shape up well for the future tournaments,” Mithali said.

India started their campaign with a resounding 107-run win over Bismah Maroof’s Pakistan at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. They also defeated the Caribbean team comprehensively after Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur smashed twin tons. But losses at the hands of Australia, England and New Zealand pushed them back.

The victory against Bangladesh brought India back into the competition, but they stuttered at the finishing line against Luus and Co. Raj, who’s the second-highest run-scorer in the history of Women’s World Cups, admitted that India made a shoddy start to their campaign that led to their exit.

She also put forth the importance of going back to the drawing board and working on certain areas ahead of future international assignments. After electing to bat first on Sunday, India put up a competitive score of 274 for seven on the board.

Mandhana, Shafali Verma and Mithali scored fifties while Kaur scored 48. The game went right down to the wire as South Africa needed three runs to win off two balls. Deepti Sharma got Mignon du Preez caught at long on, but she ended up bowling a no-ball.

Du Preez, who scored 52 runs, made India pay as she scored the winning run on the leg side to knock India out of the tournament.

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