Mitali Raj hits century, India post 265/7 against New Zealand

However, India lost the match to Australia by eight wickets. India has always had the problem that when faced with the crunch matches, the team does not necessarily step up.

(Web Desk) - Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli became a laughing stock on social media when he posted the picture of another woman cricketer to congratulate Indian women's team captain Mithali Raj for completing 6000 ODI runs in the match against Australia in the women's World Cup. Hopefully, it is a blow that the Kiwi bowlers have not recovered from. England are at the top with 10 points and a better run-rate while Australia are at second with same points tally. India will have to channel the same spirit that propelled them to four consecutive wins to start the tournament.

On the other hand, some avid supporters tried to defend Kohli's lapse by suggesting that the cricketer's intentions came out of respect and he shouldn't be mocked for a mistake, The Indian Express reported.

The Wellington leg-spinner and Tawa College student is already making her mark on the cricketing world since debuting for the White Ferns last November, as the second highest wicket taker in the tournament thus far, while the round-robin stage draws to a conclusion.

India overcame the poor start in the middle overs, milking 16-year-old leg-spinner Amelia Kerr for 64 runs besides skipper Suzie Bates leaking 59 from her 8 overs.

Bates says her team still backed themselves to chase the target on a good batting surface. "That's the key in these tournaments, you have to take wickets, especially top-order wickets". The final over, however, witnessed a quick fall of wickets with Mithali, Veda and Shikha Pandey (0) going one after the other as India finished at 265/7. These lapses could prove to be the difference between semifinals and a flight home for India. And Raj did this with unshakeable elan, knocking off 69 from 114 balls in a World Cup match against Australia-the fact that India lost hardly takes the sheen off the captain's achievement. It will also likely be the World Cup swansong of fellow 34-year-old, pacer Jhulan Goswami. Kerr has come into worldwide women's cricket at a time where there has been more exposure than ever before, and more opportunities afforded from a career perspective, through tournaments such as the Women's Big Bash League.

With so much riding on the match, it will be a test of India's character, one where they will have to show the fight they have been lacking in the last two games.

Vanessa Coleman

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