Indian eves are ready to pose with great aplomb against six time World Cup champions in their thirteenth encounter at County Ground, Derby, but this time, at the semifinals stage. In their last group stage match, India lost to Australians by 8 wickets but soon recovered it’s loss by thrashing the white ferns with 186. With its ambi dexterous opener, Smriti Mandhana, India is all set to take on head to head against the Kangaroos, tomorrow. While moments of entering into semis call for a celebration, the thought of securing the finals spot soon replaces with the conviction of going ahead, eyeing on sealing the finals spot. Not a farfetched dream but surely a tough chase.
In 2009 WWC, Indians rattled then home favorites Aussies twice and largely by attacking display square off the wickets. But the scenario changed in 2017 where India lost by 8 wickets against the Kangaroos. While Elysse Perry top lines the most run scorers from Australia with 366 in 7 matches, India’s Mithali Raj follows the top ranker with 356 in the 7 matches round robin format. India has high hopes from Sangli opener Smriti Mandhana along with Harmanpreet, Deepti Sharma and Poonam Yadav. Deepti Sharma will have to preserve wickets to cushion the pinch hitters.
In previous game, Veda Krishnamurthy was the game changer who smashed India into last four. Mithali, has scored the fastest 1000 of career as compared to previous five. She will have to concentrate on leg side as Aussies have in the last decade and a half purchased her wickets on off side. Hitting across the line on the leg side and taking off her pressure. Again, if batting, 1st the target should be in excess of 280. Anything less, the Kangaroo girls will hunt India down.
Ekta Bisht has been the pick of the Indian bowling lineup till Aussies ransacked her analysis soon resulting to a replacement with Rajeshwari Gaekwad. With Deepti Sharma and Harmanreet’s tight off breaks would prove deterrents to Aussies who have three left handers in their line up.
The roars of the last match against New Zealand is still reverberating in the most favorite hunting ground for India. India defeated one of the strong contenders by 186 runs that has transcended all the boundaries leaving the rival teams in awestruck situation. A dramatic turnaround for a team at the 7th spot in last World Cup.
Tomorrow is a bit different. The situation is tough and closer from both the sides as Australia has lost only one in their 7 matches league encounter, going down to England whereas India has won 5 and lost 2, against Australia and South Africa, in two back to back league matches.
On the other hand vice-captain Alex Blackwell is well versed with the Indian eves having played most matches against India with two centuries and six half centuries. Captain Meg Lanning would also be making a comeback after her shoulder injury to the crease, combining to a deadly trio for team India.