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