After churning out yet another player of the match performance against Ireland in the third match of the ICC Women's World T20 last night, Mithali Raj has said that the current team is better than last year's world cup finalists.
Raj is a colossus of the women's game and a name synonymous with Indian cricket over the last decade.
Making her debut at just 16, Raj has been a constant in the circuit for the last 19 years and has hardly seen a lean patch. The Jodhpur-born batter has represented India 197 times in ODI cricket and is soon expected to become the first ever woman to play 200 ODIs for her country.
Raj, at 35, still remains one of the best players actively playing the game as she scored successive match-winning half-centuries against Pakistan and Ireland, respectively, to take India to the semi-final of the ongoing women's World T20 with a game in hand.
Speaking in the prize distribution ceremony after collecting her player of the match trophy against Ireland, Mithali reserved high praise for the current Indian team.
"The team has definitely improved from the last World Cup", said Raj.
When the highest run-scorer to have every played the women's sport makes such a statement, it is bound to be with very good reason.
The captain of India's Test and ODI team went on to indicate that this improvement is perhaps an outcome of adding youth to the mix and she hopes that Harmanpreet Kaur's women can go one better than her team did last year.
"A lot of young girls in the team and they want to change the approach in T20s, and I definitely want them to win the World Cup," Raj added.
Coach Ramesh Powar had a big role to play in reinvigorating the squad and bringing its average age down to 24 after the last World Cup. Powar's attributed fearlessness of youth as the rationale behind the move.
"The good thing is the youngsters - they are fearless. I don't feel them succumbing under pressure," said the former India international.
Powar went on to emphasize that he is looking to create match-winners and stated the modus operandi of the current bunch.
"We are not here to create leaders, but to create match-winning players and are working towards this end.
"This team is more of dominance rather than competing," Powar declared.
Having already qualified for the semi-final of the World T20, India will take on Australia on Saturday to determine which team will go through as group toppers.