'England bowling is weak'

Mumbai: Mithali Raj, captain of the Indian women's team, is planning to cash in on England's relatively weak bowling attack when the two teams square off on Sunday.

While India had begun their campaign on a winning note getting past West Indies comfortably, England stumbled in their opening match against Sri Lanka.

The No.1-ranked batswoman exuded confidence ahead of the important clash against the defending champions and said that the team was well prepared to face any situation.

"I think England have got a very good batting line-up, but I don't think they are very strong in their bowling attack, except Katherine Brunt... They heavily depend on her for the breakthroughs," she said.

"We played against England last year as well and most of our batsmen are comfortable playing their bowlers. I would say Sunday's is a different game... We are expecting all kinds of situations and we are prepared for everything," she added.

Asked if she expects England to come hard after losing their first match, Mithali said: "I am sure they would field a strong side, but we are well prepared for it."

England's one-down batter and wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor missed the match against Sri Lanka due to a hamstring injury. But Mithali is of the opinion that even in her likely absence, England had a strong team.

"I think she has been one of the mainstays of England and a very compact No.3 player. It was unfortunate for her not to play the opening game. But even without her, England have a very good batting line-up," she said.

The 30-year old also said that the tournament is wide open after England's defeat. "I did tell you the other day that the tournament is open because each and every team has been scoring heavily, more than 200-plus. They are also able to chase. I think the tournament has opened up even more after Sri Lanka upset England," she said.

The India captain is unperturbed about Sunday's game being a day game.

"I don't think there is a lot to get adjusted to, because it is not the kind of winter that we get to see up north where the dew factor or moisture is there in the air... Because the match starts at 9 am, there will be a bit of assistance to the bowlers.

"Other than that, I think the wicket is behaving beautifully in both the innings," Mithali said. "I think playing a day game will not affect us much… What we saw was that ball wasn't doing much… Maybe just in the initial 4-5 overs," she added.


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