Mithali Raj warns England ahead of final at Lord's

India captain Mithali Raj has warned England not to expect as an easy contest when it comes up against her side in the Women's World Cup final on Sunday.

Mithali Raj watches Harmanpreet Kaur's innings against Australia during the second semifinal on Thursday.   -  Getty Images

India captain Mithali Raj has warned England not to expect as an easy contest when it comes up against her side in the Women's World Cup final on Sunday.

Harmanpreet Kaur struck an astonishing unbeaten 171 — the highest score by an Indian player, male or female, in a World Cup knockout match — to set the platform for a thrilling 36-run semifinal victory over defending champion Australia at Derby on Thursday.

That set-up a rematch of the opening fixture of the tournament, where India beat England by 35 runs, to decide who lifts the World Cup trophy in front of a sell-out Lord's crowd.

"As a team we are all very excited to be part of the final," said Raj, reflecting on India reaching its first World Cup final since 2005.

"We knew that this tournament wasn't going to be easy but the way the girls have turned up at every situation when the team needed, whether it was the batters or bowlers, this win has definitely changed the scenario in terms of how the girls will look up to the final.

"It definitely isn't going to be easy for England. But it will come down to how we perform on that day. We really have to work on our planning and strategy because England have also peaked after being defeated by us in the first game.

"They have performed well in the run up to the final, so playing a host in their own country is going to be a challenge. But saying that this unit is up for it."

Kaur said she wanted to prove herself and everything she did worked on Thursday.

“I’m feeling proud. I didn’t get a chance to bat in the whole tournament. Today when I got the chance I just wanted to utilise it, this opportunity, because today was the day where I wanted to prove myself, and thanks to God, whatever I was thinking, (worked).”

“When we started from Bombay, we wanted to reach the semifinal, then reach the final.”

A defeated Meg Lanning cut a solemn figure and the captain believes there's a lot for Australia to improve on if it is to achieve more silverware, although it is still waiting on its future with contract discussions on-going between Cricket Australia and Australian Cricketers' Association.

"It's definitely a very disappointing finish to the tournament, we came here to win," said Lanning who was out for nought.

"We're going to have to look at a few things and see what we're going to need to do, because all of the teams around the world are improving. We've got a fair bit of work to do to make sure we keep getting better to make sure we beat sides like England and India."

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