India women's coach WV Raman has made a huge statement ahead of the much-awaited Women's T20 World Cup in Australia. He has said that his side is definitely one of the favourites to lift the trophy. He has also said that the team can create history just like Kapil Dev's 1983 team. The Women's T20 World Cup will be played from February 21-March 8 and India will take on Australia in the first match of the competition.
"Definitely one of the favourites. They made people sit up and take notice in the 2017 World Cup and the 2018 T20 World Cup. Since then there has been a lot of improvement, in terms of fitness, agility on the field and their approach to batting," a cricket website quoted Raman as saying.
"They have been shaping well over the last six months. It is more or less a better and settled team than perhaps what it was when I took over. These girls have a very good chance in this World Cup," he added. Coach Raman also expressed his desire to see India playing a fearless brand of cricket to create history and take women's sport a notch higher in the country.
"The way all of them want to do well and take up responsibility will be evident regardless of how things pan out. They are definitely in with a good chance and they have an opportunity to create history," Raman said. "If they end up doing that, they will probably do what Kapil's Dev's World Cup-winning team did for Indian cricket in 1983. And they will become superstars if they go on to win," he added.
Before the World Cup, India played a tri-series involving Australia and England. The side managed to reach the finals of the tournament, but they had to face a loss against Australia. The team appeared to have the triangular series final in their keeping, as Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur pulled the team to within 41 runs of victory with 35 balls remaining and all of seven wickets in hand.
But, India crumbled under pressure once again and Australia won the match by 11 runs with the help of their impressive bowling which triggered a collapse of 7 for 29. India will play two warm-up matches against Pakistan (Feb 16) and West Indies (Feb 18) before the start of their World Cup campaign.