India aims fourth straight Asia Cup; players eye milestones

The Indian women's cricket team will attempt to win for an unprecedented fourth time the Asia Cup tournament starting May 2 in Sri Lanka.

updated: May 13, 2008 12:45 IST
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The Indian women's cricket team will attempt to win the Asia Cup for an unprecedented fourth time with skipper Mithali Raj and pace spearhead Jhulan Goswami also aiming for individual milestones in the tournament starting May 2 in Sri Lanka.

The tournament -- also featuring Sri Lanka, Pakistan and debutants Bangladesh -- will be played till May 11 and India will take on Bangladesh in their lung-opener.

Skipper Mithali Raj is hoping to put up some good batting displays which will help her rise in the all-time leading ODI run-scorers' list.

Mithali currently lies seventh with 2,776 runs with England's Claire Taylor (2,995) and New Zealand's Emily Drumm (2,844) above her in fifth and sixth places respectively.

Australia 's Belinda Clark with 4,844 runs is the all-time leading run-scorer.

Meanwhile, Jhulan, who won the Women's Player of the Year at the ICC Awards last year, is set to become the second Indian after Neetu David and fourth overall in the history of the game to take 100 ODI wickets.

The 24-year-old sits on 96 wickets from 79 ODIs.

The tournament will be played on a double-league format with the top two teams qualifying for the final.

Mithali said the Asia Cup will be the start of a tough season for her team in the run-up to the World Cup.

"It's definitely part of our preparations for the World Cup and is the start of the season for us," she said.

India won the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka in April 2004, in Pakistan in 2005-06 and in India in 2006/07. It has shown incredible consistency while winning all its 15 matches whereas Sri Lanka has won four of the 15 matches and Pakistan is winless from eight games.