WC: India face Australia, aim for semis berth

AGENCIES
NEW DELHI, 11th July; Reeling from heart-breaking defeats in their previous matches, both India and Australia will take the field on Wednesday at Bristol with the singular objective to seal a place in the semi-finals of the ongoing ICC Women’s World Cup 2017. India and Australia have been at their dominating best in this tournament, but defeats for both in their previous matches served a reality check.

While Australia lost a thrilling encounter by a mere three runs to England — their first defeat in more than 24 years to their arch rivals — India were pummelled by South Africa by a huge margin. South Africa have shown they can be ruthless too in this tournament and India will need a strong batting performance to recover from a depleting 115-run defeat in their previous clash.

India were at their best in the first four games of the tournament, but the Mithali Raj-led team now faces a stiff challenge to qualify for the final four. India’s next two fixtures are against Australia and New Zealand, and India need at least one win to make it to the semi-finals. The form of Smriti Mandhana would be a cause of concern for India. Smriti started off the tournament with a bang, but her bat has gone quiet in the last two matches.


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