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Mithali Raj proud of India's effort despite missing out on World Cup

Mithali Raj has confirmed that she has played her last World Cup
Mithali Raj has confirmed that she has played her last World Cup

India captain Mithali Raj admitted that she was proud of her team's efforts in the Women's World Cup final against England at Lord's where they went on to lose the encounter by nine runs.

Led by a brilliant three-wicket haul from Jhulan Goswami, India did exceedingly well to reduce England to 228 for seven in the 50 overs with only Natalie Sciver managing to score a half-century.

In the chase, India looked comfortable when Punam Raut and Harmanpreet Kaur were going with scores of 86 and 51 respectively and the visitors needed 38 runs off the final 43 deliveries with seven wickets in hand.

However, Anya Shrubsole turned the game on its head with a six-wicket haul and also effected a run out to bowl out India for 219 runs, thereby allowing England to register their fourth title win.

Crediting Punam for her 115-ball knock, Mithali said the inexperience in the line-up found them wanting during the closing stage of the game.

“It was a brave innings from Poonam, the partnership was very important and the two really built the innings,” said Mithali.

“The lower-middle order needs to contribute, that has been a concern for a long time, batting is important and something everyone needs to do.

“It’s about experience and about how composed we are in the situation. The girls weren’t experienced enough to do that, but the way they have fought through the tournament is heart-warming."

Nevertheless, Mithali is also confident that the performance in the tournament will inspire the coming generations to take up the game.

“The India women’s team has a bright future, we have very talented girls – it’s just a matter of calculations, keeping your cool in the middle.

“These girls have really set the platform for the upcoming generations in India, they’ve opened up the channels for women’s cricket and they should be really proud of themselves.”

This was also Mithali's fifth World Cup appearance but failed to cross the line once again and the 34-year-old has confirmed that she has played her last edition of the tournament.

"I do see myself playing for a couple of years but I don't see myself playing another World Cup," she said.

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