ICC Women’s World Cup: Australia v India, 2nd Semi-Final – 5 Players To Watch Out For
India and Australia will face each other in the second semi – final of the Women’s World Cup at Derby. The current form of both the teams suggests that it will definitely be a clash of two outstanding units. Both the teams qualified for the knockouts with 6 wins from 7 games. The Meg Lanning led side, however, holds a slight edge over the Mithali Raj led side considering the loss India suffered at the hands of Australia in the league stages. But, overall, the upcoming game will be a different equation altogether.
Smriti Mandhana, no doubt, went from becoming a ‘star’ to a ‘dud’ almost instantaneously. In her first two innings against England and West Indies, she registered scores of 90 and 106* respectively. It was a dream start to the tournament. Since then, however, she has flunked so bad, she has almost disappeared from the memories. But, this lack of form is what makes her one of the most anticipated names ahead of the semi – finals. Fans certainly hope to put her poor form behind and produce a cracker of a knock against Australia.
Mithali Raj will enter the contest as India’s best bet in the batting department. Her experience, confidence and current form suggest that she will come hard at the Aussies. Also, the fact that this could perhaps be her last world cup appearance will serve as a motivation to display a thoroughly outstanding show from her willow. The right hander has already created a couple of records in their tournament and her focus would definitely be trained with the goal of culminating the trip of England with a World Cup in the India team’s dressing room.
India’s strength is spin and Ekta Bist has been the best spin bowling option for India in this tournament. Her presence will be key to India’s chances given the style of her bowling. The left arm spinner has gained a reputation for being a consistent wicket picker and a miser in the middle overs. Her loopy bowling has troubled the best in the business. The Australian duly acknowledged her as a threat by playing safe against her. The emergence of Rajeshawari Gayakwad has created a small contest for the sole left arm spinner’s slot in the XI. But, the chances of the in-form Bist making the cut looks like a greater possibility considering her track record in the tournament which reads 9 wickets from 6 matches.
An in-form all-rounder is a dream come true for any top contender of a multi nation tournament. There is a no bigger asset than having such kind of players making oppositions wither away all on their own with contributions in both batting and bowling departments. Elysse Perry has been one such asset for the Australian side in this tournament so far. The numbers speak for her effectiveness. As a middle order batswoman, she averages a staggering 91.50 and currently is the second highest run getter overall with 366 runs from 7 matches. As a frontline seamer, she has already picked 9 wickets with best bowling figures of 3/47. Her insane form will be a cause of for India in all sense.
Meg Lanning’s right shoulder has perhaps made the Australian camp more nervous than the prospect of playing against India in the semi-finals. The comparison might sound cranky but Lanning will have struggled with the injury throughout the tournament and any indication of the problem turning complicated can hurt Australia’s preparation very badly. The Southern Stars would not only lose their skipper but also a key cog in the batting order. With 328 runs in just 5 matches at an astounding average of 109, Lanning’s batting form is pretty much the most standout feature in this entire tournament let alone her contribution in Australia’s dominance over their opponents. This mystery surrounding her presence makes her the most anticipated name ahead of the knockout game.
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