The Indian women’s cricket team will look to all but cement their spot in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 semi-finals when they take on New Zealand.
The Indian women’s cricket team will look to all but cement their spot in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 semi-finals when they take on New Zealand in a Group A game at Melbourne on Thursday (February 26).
Both sides come into this game having not dropped any points in the tournament thus far. India beat Australia and Bangladesh in their first two group games whereas New Zealand recorded a victory over Sri Lanka in their first group game.
A win for India would virtually secure their spot in the semis whereas a win for the White Ferns would see them go level on points with the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side, opening up a few interesting possibilities in the group since as of now, both Bangladesh (P1 L1) and Australia (P2 W1 L1) have an outside chance of qualifying for the semis.
A youthful-looking India side have done better than expected thus far but will have a few issues to sort out ahead of what is sure to be a stern test against the Sophie Devine-led unit.
The middle-order remains a source of worry as even in the last game against Bangladesh, the batsmen failed to score at a decent rate against Bangladesh and had to rely on a late surge from Veda Krishnamurthy to set a total of 142-6.
Shafali Verma has given India solid starts atop the order but team management will hope the 16-year old will convert her starts into bigger scores sooner rather than later.
On the other hand, while New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets the win was not as comprehensive as the scoreline suggests. Chasing a below-par total of 128, they lost opener Rachel Priest early and scoring became harder in the middle overs.
Devine eventually guided them home with a well-made 75* but the fact she batted through the innings was down to the Lankans’ generosity in the field as she was dropped when on 18.
History is on New Zealand’s side in this fixture as they have beaten India 8 times in 11 T20Is. However, India will be hoping to continue their recent rich vein of form and put one foot into the knockout stage of the tournament.
India: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harleen Deol, Veda Krishnamurthy, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Arundhati Reddy, Rajeshwari Gaekwad, Richa Ghosh.
New Zealand: Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine (c), Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin (wk), Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Rachel Priest (wk), Lea Tahuhu.