After a poor performance so far in the Women’s T20 World Cup, India will have to raise their game in a big way against semi-rivals Australia in the first semi-final here on Thursday.
India, who have been among the top teams for the past five years but have been unable to win a major trophy, have expectedly made it to the semi-finals of yet another ICC event.
However, they have been guilty of self-destruction in the past, especially in knockout matches against England or Australia.
Australia defeated India at home in the final of the last T20 World Cup and more recently in the gold medal match of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last year.
Women’s cricket in India has grown massively since the final in the ODI World Cup in 2017 and now is the time for the team to turn their promise into performance as they step into Thursday’s do-or-die game.
Although the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side won three of their four games in the group stage, not a single performance, including the one against Ireland, could be called convincing. Their only defeat was against England.
Considering the way India have played so far, one can only hope that somehow they manage to sort out all their issues for the big game, even if the top-order is inconsistent. Be it, failure to hit sixes or high dot balls except Richa Ghosh. Percentage
Opener Shafali Verma, who made her international debut more than three years ago and is still a teenager, has not learned from her mistakes, especially her inability to rotate her strike and her lack of consistency against the short ball. Be sensitive.
There will be huge pressure to perform on captain Harmanpreet himself who has not done anything of note in the World Cup so far. He is one of the few batsmen who can hit the ball long but is inconsistent over long periods.
Another defeat in the knockout stages of the World Cup could end his tenure as captain.
Jemima Rodriguez has done well in the tournament but needs to do more to help the team’s cause.
Star batsman Smriti Mandhana has been among the consistent performers and will once again be key to the team’s chances against Australia, known for raising her game to ‘insurmountable levels’ in a big game.
The Meg Lanning-led side will continue their 22-match T20 winning streak in the semi-finals.
Australia have lost just two official matches in any format since dropping a T20 against New Zealand in March 2021, but notably both of those defeats have come against India. In December, they defeated India 4–1 in the series played in Mumbai.
In the bowling department, fast bowler Renuka Thakur has been India’s best bowler in the event with seven wickets so far, including five for 15 against England.
Deepti Sharma scored runs in her one over against Ireland, but she has been most consistent in the spin department. The likes of Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gyakwad, and Radha Yadav will have to be more accurate against Australian teams.
Australian opener Beth Mooney is wary of India’s challenge though looking at past results they should win comfortably.
“I’m expecting it to be a huge contest, they’ve taken us up a notch over the last few years, and they’ve got a bunch of match-winners in the line-up,” Mooney said here on Tuesday. told reporters.
“We’re not expecting it to be easy by any means, whether it’s with the bat or the ball, but we certainly know the way they’ve played us in the past and what they know about us. Harmanpreet said that though his team lost the home series, the players got a lot of confidence from the five high-scoring matches.
“I think that series gave us a lot of confidence, you know, the brand of cricket we played in that particular series was something that gave us a lot of confidence.
“And now we know them well. We played five games back to back and then a practice game, we know, their strengths, their weaknesses.” Although wicketkeeper Alyssa Haliquad missed Australia’s final group match against South Africa with pain, the opener is fit for Thursday’s match.
India: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Shifali Verma, Yesthika Bhatia, Richa Ghosh, Jemima Rodriguez, Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Devika Vaidya, Radha Yadav, Renuka Thakur, Anjali Sarwani, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gaikwad and.
Australia Squad: Meg Lanning (C), Alyssa Healy, Darcy Brown, Ashley Gardner, Kim Garth, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, Jess Jonasson, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Elise Perry, Megan Shutt, Annabelle Sutherland, Georgia Wareham.
The match will start at 6:30 PM.