Former skipper Purnima Rau (nee Janardhan) is a key figure in the Indian team for the women's World Cup scheduled to be held at New Zealand from November 29. The Indian team is set to begin its final phase of preparation at New Delhi before emplaning to the Kiwi land in pursuit of the biggest honour.
A semi-finalist when the last edition was held in the country, India hope to do better this time around. As a senior member of the squad, Purnima Rau gave an elaborate assessment of India's strengths, weaknesses and India's chances at the World Cup in an exclusive chat with Thatscricket.com. The following is an excerpt of the interview taken at her residence in Secunderabad.
This is your third World Cup. Do you suppose it is going to turn out to be third time lucky?
Yes, it is going to be a special one. Ideally I would like it to be a culmination of all my years of hard work iced with a little bit of luck.
Realistically speaking what are India's chances at the World Cup?
I would give Australia a 20 per cent edge over India. I would rate it as 60-40 in favour of Australia. However we certainly are strong title contenders.
Approach wise how do we vary from the Aussies, or the Kiwis for that matter?
We most certainly have a different approach. We are more superstitious and destiny oriented. Unlike the Aussies we are pretty unorthodox in our stroke play, in that we are more wristy and play a lot of shots that are loaded with risk.
Having said that, I think it is the right approach. Personally I see nothing wrong with it as that is the way we play our game, which is very enterprising and if it all falls into place we can displace anybody on a given day.
If this kind of approach is giving Australia a 20 per cent edge, as the Ausssies depend more on professionalism than on flair, why not change our approach and get more on the professional track?
No, I do not think so. The flair that we so much depend on gives us the winning game. It just boils down to belief in ourselves. If we walk out there with a good sense of belief in our abilities then that is what matters.