India v England, Women's World Cup 2013, Mumbai February 3, 2013

Raj comments 'fired us up' - Brunt


India Women captain Mithali Raj's pre-match comment that the England Women attack wasn't so good and was heavily reliant on Katherine Brunt "fired us up", the fast bowler has said. After taking 4 for 29 in the 32-run win over India, Brunt said England had shown during the game they had many other capable bowlers too.

"Mithali's comments fired us up, to be honest," Brunt said. "We were already up for this game but once those comments were made, we worked even more. I think that fuelled the fire. Anya [Shrubsole] and I did a decent job at the start and Holly [Colvin] showed us what a spinner can really do if we work hard and tight. Everybody made a contribution and, if Mithali was wondering if only I was going to be bowling, there were three, four or five good bowlers out there."

Before Brunt and co troubled India, England captain Charlotte Edwards had given her bowlers a substantial 273 to defend with her seventh hundred, which also saw her go past Australia's Belinda Clark as the highest ODI run-getter. Edwards said she was happy to find form, but was more pleased to have set up victory for the team.

"I came into this game not in particularly great form, especially in one-day cricket, so for me to perform when the team needs me, it is probably up there with some of my best hundreds, in terms of the circumstances," Edwards said. "As for the record, it is about the team, it is not about me. That is something for me to look at, at the end of my career. Don't get me wrong, I am very proud of that, but Belinda Clark is a much better player than me."

Edwards was pleased with the way her side had responded to her call for a "big performance" following a shock last-ball loss to Sri Lanka two days ago. "It feels a lot better sitting here having won after Friday," she said. "Today was about character for our team, to play against India in India, which is always going to be tough for us.

"That day [against Sri Lanka] we dropped a few catches, which really cost us. We didn't get off to a great start. This is the England team I know and love and that is the standard we have got to set for ourselves for the rest of the tournament. The loss hurt the team and to come back like that, I am really proud of the team."

Raj asked England to bat under slightly overcast skies in an early morning start, only to watch them motor to a tall score. Edwards said it was a tricky decision to make and that losing the toss had worked in England's favour. "It definitely is harder [to decide] in the morning, I can vouch for that. I knew when I did the toss this morning, as it fell down, and I saw all the bowlers put their heads down. They really wanted to bowl on it. But sometimes it takes pressure off you a little bit when you are sent into bat, and it put pressure on to India."

The flat Brabourne pitches have seen big totals scored in five of the six innings played on them so far in the tournament and Edwards said it was still difficult to determine what a par score was. "After the first five overs, I thought 170 might be a good score," Edwards joked. "But once you got in on the wicket - it is tough early on - once you bide through that and then I thought we were probably going to go up to 290 before I got out. I wasn't disappointed but I thought we could have got a few more runs.

"I think it showed that if someone bats through and someone gets a hundred, it is a lot easier. It is pretty hard to stop you going through towards the end. It is a great pitch out there. I don't think anyone knows what a par score is here. I am just happy we got enough today."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on February 5, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    @Sathish Chandran/Nampally - Bowlers weren't too mediocre today. Shrubsole took 4 inc the number 2 player who had just come off a 170 and Brindle took 3

  • John on February 4, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    @Sathish Chandran on (February 4, 2013, 3:10 GMT) I think the comms (although to be fair there wasn't much to them) fired the whole team up. If you were an Eng bowler you'd be fired up. Colvin (though wicketless) went for less than 3 an over and Raj (although the best female ODI player in the world) went for 8 ironically to the person who she fired up. Something poetic there. BTW nice of you to give the Eng team credit

    @Nampally on (February 4, 2013, 15:00 GMT) Colvin went for less than 3 RPO also (which I know you mentioned) , so if Raj was correct why wasn't she taken to the cleaners? Yes Lottie scored a ton but maybe reducing India (the home side) on a pitch with a very fast scoring outfield is quite an achievement. Also from Eng's point of view , what might have happened if Taylor fired? We'd have won by 100+ runs? We can all do the what ifs to suit our argument. Wouldn't say we gave away any runs , Indian women scored 240

  • John on February 4, 2013, 18:21 GMT

    @Sathish Chandran on (February 4, 2013, 3:10 GMT) I think the comms (although to be fair there wasn't much to them) fired the whole team up. If you were an Eng bowler you'd be fired up. Colvin (though wicketless) went for less than 3 an over and Raj (although the best female ODI player in the world) went for 8 ironically to the person who she fired up. Something poetic there. BTW nice of you to give the Eng team credit

  • Ashok on February 4, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    @Trickster: I was commenting upon the heading which says about a "Fired up Bowling".You rudely diverted the issue by calling me a "Sore Loser", instead!. I have not written a single word about winning or Losing in my write up. As for your allegation that I did not see the game, I definitely saw the 2 LBW appeals against Edwards off Goswami & against Taylor off Sultana - both very early in the innings.From the action replay both looked OUT but neither were given. Whilst both LBW appeals against the Indian opener were upheld. If one of them was upheld, we would have seen much lower total to chase. This is not waffling but a fact. Why have an inexperienced Umpire from Singapore?. As for Raj's comment, read what Edwards said after losing to SL. Edwards comments were somewhat on similar lines as Raj's although differently stated. There were many English fans attacking Raj, who clearly was rallying her team. It is all gamesmanship which everyone uses - You are A Genius if it works.

  • paul on February 4, 2013, 16:12 GMT

    @Nampally What are you waffling about, that England only won because Edwards got runs, Hello, of course England needed runs to win a one day game just like they need the bowlers to take wickets and bowl well. India are at home and batting is their strength and still got beat by 32 runs and tbh it sounds like you didn't even watch the game, in fact I'm sure of it because you'd know that the England girls bowled well, just a couple got tagged by Kaur at the end. You commented before in the previous article and was waffling again about how Raj said nothing wrong and again you miss the point and are wrong, this bowling attack is strong, not just Brunt & you'd know that if you watched them or for that matter even looked at their stats. They'd be no way they could win the amount of games they do win without a strong bowling line up and also at times Brunt has missed quite a few games with injuries to further press the point. Typical sore loser comments, just like in the Test series.

  • Ashok on February 4, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    Brunt saya "Raj's comments Fired us up"!. Nevertheless the England bowlers gave away 240 runs. If "fired up" bowling can give as many runs as that then how many runs will the "unfired up" bowling give?. Raj was absolutely correct in what she said because Brunt was the only bowler - 4 for 29 - who was good. Amongst the rest Colvin was very economical which may have restricted Indian Total. But the main point was Edwards' century which carried England to victory - Not the England bowling. Also both Indian opening bats fell to LBW's, as good opening stand was key to the successful chase by India. England got a win mainly due to these factors not due to bowling "firing up" the team. Look out for Dottin in the WI women. If she gets going she will expose the England bowling. Also if Edwards falls early, England total will have to be defended by its bowlers. All contending teams in Group A are 1-1. Next match is crucial to all teams.

  • Dummy4 on February 4, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    It was silly of Mithali Raj to make the comment for sure,and face the Brunt of Brunt's bowling ! It was similar to Dhoni's and Gambhir's comments post Australia tour regarding the spinning tracks and the Indian team paid the price! Its better to keep quiet and prove your point during the play. Indians are not good at Psyching out the opposition.Hope she has learnt her lesson !

  • Simon on February 4, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    England have an excellent bowling unit. Sure Brunt is by far the pick, but all the bowlers are capable of taking wickets. Even a few of the batters like Edwards can bowl handy part timers.

    Every attack has a spearhead, it's nothing new.

  • Mark on February 4, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    lets be honest, the only thing that this match proved was the Mithali Raj was correct, England ARE dependant too much on Katherine Brunt, she took 4-29 by far the best bowling figures and nearly the best economy rate (only Holly Colvin topped her with 2.9rpo) however we are still a good team, we were just taken down by an insipired performance from Sri Lanka. I still think we have a very good chance of getting to the final though

  • Graem on February 4, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    I was impressed by how well India played against a strong England team. Even without the support of well paid specialist coaches that the men can call on, India's fielding has really improved. Raj's biggest mistake was not made with her mouth but her underuse of Amita Sharma who should have bowled all her overs and should have come in after Goswami got out. As for England, you have to wonder if India had been England's first opponents, would they have not risked Taylor, Marsh and Shrubsole. Thanks to the West Indies, the approach of taking Sri Lanka easy will not hurt England.

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