Mithali Raj’s mantra for D-Day

Following their astounding victories over New Zealand and Australia, Indian eves will look to draw inspiration from the 1983 World Cup victory of Kapil Dev and his team and will aim to clinch their maiden ICC Women’s World Cup title when they take on hosts England at iconic Lord’s on Sunday.

India was beaten by Australia back in 2005 but banished those demons by knocking out the reigning World Cup winner in a dramatic semi-final in Derby.

En route to the summit clash, it has been a team performance for India. Raj has led from the front with 392 runs she is the second-highest run-getter in this World Cup.

Opener Smriti Mandhana began the fireworks at the top of the order in the beginning of the tournament and vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur took it to a different level with her incredible power-packed 171-run knock against Australia in the semifinals. Veda Krishnamurthy’s late onslaught converted a middling total into a daunting one in final league fixture against New Zealand.

The Indian skipper already knows all about scoring runs at Lord’s. She made 59 in an ODI at the venue back in 2006 and a brilliant unbeaten 94 at the ground six years later.

So, despite its famous slope, that has been the downfall of many a batter over the years, and rain in the air that could give assistance to the bowlers, the 34-year-old is taking confidence into Sunday.

“We don’t play at Lord’s that often but when I last played here, the slope wasn’t really in my mind,” said Raj.

“If you start thinking too much about the slope and how the ball is going to curve in or curve out, then you forget the fundamentals of your own batting. 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 added.

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