Women’s World Cup: Cautious India takes on Australia in second semifinal

India counting on home advantage against Australia, having won all four matches at the County Ground in Derby, when the two sides meet each other in the second semifinal of the Women’s World Cup on Thursday.

Mithali Raj... Leading from the front...   -  AP

Indian captain Mithali Raj’s excellent form has been the backbone of the side’s progress to the ICC Women’s World Cup semifinals. Mithali has scored 356 runs from seven innings and became the first woman to surpass 6,000 runs in ODIs in the process.

Read: Mithali Raj - A class act

However, Australia came on top when the two sides met at Bristol in the group stage with Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry scoring unbeaten half-centuries. Mithali scored 69 in that match and is well aware that past instances does not matter when India meets the reigning world champion on Thursday.

“It’s all about how the teams respond to the situation and the conditions on the day,” she added.

“How the players play the situation is important because having said that Derby is our home ground, you need to perform on that day to win.”

 

“We’ve played a lot of the group stage here, four games, so we are aware of the conditions and that is our advantage. But Australia is a very good side. They won the last edition of this tournament and they have a lot of players who have played in high-pressure games.”

“But for this Indian team, it is going to be a big game and if we can pull out one win, it will be exceptional by the team.”

Australia confident despite India’s upper-hand at Derby

Mithali’s side may be more familiar — having won all four matches at the County Ground — than the Southern Stars with the conditions in Derby, but Australian batswoman Nicole Bolton is confident that the world champion can win anywhere if its plays its best cricket.

Nicole Bolton, who has scored 337 runs at 56.16 in the tournament thus far, is confident that Australia can adapt quickly to the conditions in Derby and book a place in the final to be played at Lord’s.

“We'll make sure we're really clear what our plans are. On any given day, it's irrelevant where we play, if we play our best cricket hopefully we'll win the match,” she said.

“India have played a couple of matches at Derby as well so they'll be pretty familiar with the conditions as well. We can't afford to be off our game, as you have seen throughout the tournament, if you have an off day the other team can get a big jump on you.

“We'll have to do a bit of homework, look at the conditions and see what Derby has to offer because I think India will come out and really take it to us. With the extra break heading into the game, we'll be able to familiarise ourselves with the ground and the conditions and have a look at some footage as well,” Nicole added.

Squads

Australia: Meg Lanning (capt.), Sarah Aley, Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell, Nicole Bolton, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani and Amanda-Jade Wellington.

India: Mithali Raj (capt), Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, Smriti Mandhana, Mona Meshram, Shikha Pandey, Poonam, Nuzhat Parween, Poonam Raut, Deepti Sharma and Sushma Verma.

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