India Women are all set to face Australia Women in the T20 World Cup tomorrow in South Africa. They managed to beat Ireland Women in their last group match, albeit by the DLS method to book their place in the semifinals. However, this is going to be a tough battle for India Women in the first semi-final of the tournament as they will be taking on the strongest team of the tournament.
India Women won three out of four group matches while Australians remained unbeaten. Moreover, in December 2022 during Australia’s tour of India, the visitors won four T20Is as India managed to tie one match of the series. This clearly shows why even psychologically Australasia start with an edge tomorrow.
Inconsistent Shafali Verma
Let’s talk about Shafali Verma first. Shafali recently led India Women to their very first ICC Under19 T20 World Cup in South Africa but as a batter she failed at so many occasions. Her performance at the top has not been at par since long. Since last year, the youngster has been going through a rough patch and yet to come out of it. She has accumulated just 93 runs so far in this tournament and failed to provide the support Smriti Mandhana needs at the top. This puts extra pressure on Mandhana who managed to save India even in the last game. Shafali scored 24 off 29 and could not kickstart the innings for India. Shafali Verma needs to come back with a strong performance else it will a Tough task for India to face Australia. Just a month back she played in the same conditions as the Under 19 skipper and that should be an advantage to her too.
Pressure on Richa Ghosh
The middle-order on the other hand is depending too much on Richa Ghosh. She is constantly performing and playing vital knocks for the side. But the lower-order is not being able to support Ghosh often. During the match against England Women, the only game that India have lost so far, Ghosh remained unbeaten on 47 off 34 but failed to win the match. She did not get enough opportunity which resulted in India scoring 3 in 8 balls when they needed 34 off11.Deepti Sharma and Pooja Vastrakar could not score enough runs and also failed to rotate strikes at the end.
The same match saw some heart-breaking performances from the Indian spinner. Deepti Sharma who scripted in the match against West Indies, failed to create any impact on England Women. She could take just one wicket conceding 37 runs. Radha Yadav has done her job so far but Rajeswari Gayakwad has been sheer disappointment for India in this World Cup thus far. In the match against England, she delivered only one over and gave away 12 runs. On the other hand, Sophie Ecclestone stunned one and all with her brilliant spell (4-0-14-1).
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