Mithali Raj hopes to erase scar from 2005 in World Cup final against England

England's Heather Knight and India's Mithali Raj pose with the trophy
England's Heather Knight and India's Mithali Raj pose with the trophy

India captain Mithali Raj said she is keen on erasing the scar from the 2005 World Cup final defeat to Australia when they face England in the 2017 edition final at Lord's on Sunday.

From the current squad of players only Mithali and Jhulan Goswami were part of the 2005 World Cup final when they lost to Australia by 98 runs in Centurion.

Consistent performances in the ongoing edition saw India reach the knock-out stage when Harmanpreet Kaur's blistering 171-run knock blew Australia out of the tournament in the semi-final.

“For me and Jhulan (Goswami) it is very special because we are the only players from 2005 still with the team and for us it feels like going back to 2005.

“We are all very excited to be part of the World Cup final. We knew this tournament wasn’t going to be easy but the way the girls have turned up at every situation when the team needed!

“I’m so happy that the girls have given us an opportunity again to be part of the World Cup final."

However, Mithali is wary of the threat from England possess especially at their own backyard.

“It definitely is not going to be easy for England, but having beaten Australia, I am sure the girls are on a high but it will boil down to how we perform on the day.

“Playing the hosts in their own country is going to be a challenge but this unit is up for it.”

Meanwhile, England managed to make a heavy weight of their comfortable chase in the semi-final against South Africa, which they won by two wickets and Knight is confident of a strong performance on Sunday.

“We keep finding ways to win at the moment, we haven’t quite put the perfect performance together, we’d readily admit that,” she said.

“There’s still one game to go and if we put a perfect performance in then, I’ll be a very happy captain. It’s great news (that it’s sold out).

“What a (semi-final) game and we’re delighted to get to that final. We back the depth in our team and we’re finding ways to win at the moment.

“The plan was to get to Lord’s and sing our song and we’re one step closer to that. It was a massive carrot going into the semi-final and lucky we had the wise head of Jenny Gunn to get over the line, so we’re delighted.”

© Cricket World 2017