Dumped Mamatha backs Mithali to pocket World Cup

Published: Saturday, March 5, 2005, 18:23 [IST]
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Dumped Mamatha backs Mithali to pocket World Cup

Bangalore:It's not very often that a cricketer is stripped of her captaincy and dumped from the side at the same time and that too before the biggest showpiece event in women's cricket -the World Cup. But former India captain Mamatha Maben choose to take her omission from the South Africa-bound touring party in her stride.

"I'd be lying if I say I'm not disappointed at being dropped. I fully realize that my form was not up to the mark," she told Thatscricket.com in an informal chat.

"You see, I was at the evening of my career anyway and planned the World Cup to be my swansong but it didn't happen that way. You can't have things going your way all the time. These things do happen in life and I've accepted my axing sportingly."

The 35-year-old all-rounder, however spoke glowingly about her predecessor Mithali Raj and backed her side to lay their hands on the coveted World Cup.

"I have tremendous confidence in Mithali. I'm sure she would do a good job at the helm. She's very capable. If there is anyone who can bring the World Cup to India, I would put my money on Mithali to pull it off for India," Mamatha said.

The seaming tracks in South Africa always have something it in for the quicker bowlers and not surprisingly a weakling for the Indian batsmen but Mamatha reckons that the team would get enough time to get used to the conditions there.

"The Indian team would be arriving in South Africa at least ten days ahead of the big-ticket event which is sufficient enough time to acclimatize to the conditions. We've toured South Africa before and our batsmen have proved themselves on those strips. I don't think we have any technical shortfalls as such in countering the moving deliveries," she opined.

The women in blue have a perfect blend of youth and experience and Mamtha says this could prove the difference between India and other sides.

"I honestly think we have the team to bag the World Cup for the first time. We're going to face up the weaker opponents early on and that's a huge advantage for us as we can nicely get warmed ourselves for the tougher matches."

The bespectacled cricketer sees Indian bowling as its main weapon at the World Cup.

"Our bowling attack is formidable. In Jhulan Goswami and Amita Sarma we've two world class bowlers who can devastate any side. Amita in particular is a big prospect. Even legendary pace guru Dennis Lillee spoke highly of her during our training at the MRF Pace academy. Then we have two talented tweakers in Nooshin and Neetu and both can play an effective role on any wicket," she observed.

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