The India Vs New Zealand elimination match was by all means a plot of mass destruction. Indians walked into the match with two positives. One being the venue — and Derby it was, that proved the Waterloo of Kiwis. Indians walked with three-all win records at Derby and we’re looking to add the tally onto four.
Loss of gigantic proportions for Kiwis as they lost their seventh biggest loss of their playing career and biggest one world cup campaigns.
Gritty Indians put up a robust 265 on the board. Kiwis, the marginal favourites determined to make it to last four lost wickets more frequently than the bowling change in the innings.
Shikha Pandey and Jhulan proved why Indians can depend on them as they earned and shared honours in containing the openers and then Pandey took the destructive Suzie Bates and with Jhulan nipping from behind to take her first wicket, the party began.
Spinners soon took over and biggest game changer was Rajeshwari Gaekwad the left arm spinner was in the place of attacking Ekta Bisht, who sadly transformed into playable from penetratively successful bowler of the initial matches at same ground Derby. A reverse of sorts but the new kid Gaekwad filled in the big boots of Ekta with aplomb. She bowled her career best with 5/15 at world cup. Impossible feat at crunch situation. Ekta will have tough time crawling back into the team and that’s a good problem to have for Indian think tank.
Indian began the day after losing the toss and padding up in known conditions. Batting was measured and strategic. Mithali was severely criticised for slow rotation of strike in the previous encounter by commentators, came back strongly scored a classic century in almost run a ball fashion. Her standing ovation innings was first against big team in last three years. This marks a new chapter and almost innocuously announces her return to the helm for few more years in Indian dressing room. Veda Krishnamurthy who till now had a pedestrian outing batted like a woman possessed to do the impossible and score 10 runs a over, which she obliged her coach and team with a glee.
Now Derby Cricket Ground is soon gunning out to be favourite hunting ground for Indians. Indians have all four wins record Derby and Aussies have more losses than wins here. Indians will have to put their head together and take on the mighty yet beatable Aussies in their eighth semifinals of World Cup. Could this just be the redemption India has been waiting for. Thursday will show us all.