Women’s World Cup 2022: fickle India faces a tough test against the unstoppable Australia

Australia have been almost unstoppable in ODI cricket. They have lost just two games and won 35 since losing to India in the semi-finals of the 2017 Women’s World Cup. The last time Meg Lanning’s girls lost an ODI was against India last year. The 6-time champion has made a statement of intent and so far has won all of his 4 games by convincing margins.

India once again face the task of stopping Australia’s juggernaut, but Mithali Raj’s side have been inconsistent at the World Cup so far, winning 2 and losing 2 in their four games. India lost a hard-fought run in Australia last year, ending the hosts’ 26-game winning streak.

In the previous series against New Zealand, Indian bowlers struggled to find a rhythm, but batting performance was inconsistent at the World Cup as the team sat with two wins and as many losses after four games.

With three league games remaining, India will need to gain consistency across all departments and maintain their place in the top four to qualify for the semi-finals.

“If I had an explanation (for the inconsistency in batting) I would definitely have discussed it in the dressing room. In the NZ series our batters have done well, the last four games (in WC) the batting as a unit hasn’t clicked and it’s something we need to work on,” said Star opener Smriti Mandhana before the clash against Australia.

“I’m confident tomorrow will be a perfect game for the batters. The bowlers are doing a great job for us, they need more support from the batters.”

Indian thugs dreamed up special individual performances but didn’t fire as a group.

Mithali and all-rounder Deepti Sharma have swapped places in third place in the first four games, but both are yet to make significant contributions.

Smriti has shown top form and Harmanpreet, back under runs, gives the team a massive boost.

CAN JHULAN PROTECT AUSTRALIA?

Veteran pacesetter Jhulan Goswami, set to play her 200th ODI, has impressed in all matches so far and is expected to make the early breakthrough against the impressive Australians.

Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad was the leading wicket-taker for India with eight wickets.

India only managed 134 in the last game but the bowlers still managed to stretch the game and take out six English batsmen.

They must find a way to sack in-form opener Rachael Haynes, who has accumulated 277 runs on a 92 average. Most Australian players contributed to the team going unbeaten in the tournament.

Ellyse Perry has played with both racquet and ball, while spinners Alana King and Ashleigh Gardner have also had success.

Both teams have developed an intense rivalry over the years and Australia will look to avenge their semi-final defeat in the 2017 edition when they take to the field at Eden Park on Saturday.

SQUAD

Australia: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Darcie Brown, Nic Carey, Ash Gardner, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Amanda Jade Wellington.

India: Mithali Raj (c), Harmanpreet Kaur (vc), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh (wk), Sneh Rana, Jhulan Goswami, Pooja Vastrakar, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh Thakur, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav. (With PTI inputs)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *