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Women’s Cricket World Cup: Anjum Chopra backs India to beat Australia in semi-final

India will take on Australia in the Women’s Cricket World Cup semi-final in Derby on Thursday.

cricket Updated: Jul 19, 2017 14:08 IST
Asian News International
Asian News International
Asian News International
ICC Women’s World Cup,Women's Cricket World Cup,India women's cricket team
The Indian cricket team will take on Australia in the Women’s Cricket World Cup semi-final on Thursday.(Reuters)

Former skipper Anjum Chopra believes India have a 50-50 chance of defeating Australia in Thursday’s semi-final of the ongoing Women’s Cricket World Cup.

“Yes, I think India can beat Australia,” Chopra was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

“When I say that, I am not just being hopeful that India should be in a final. The reason I say that is, I’ve always felt that anytime you get into a quarter-final or a semi-final, there’s always one match that as a team you need to play well together, even if they are the current world champions.

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Australia, the defending champions, have won six of the 10 World Cup tournaments prior to the ongoing edition and hold an overwhelming 34-8 win-loss record against India in ODIs.

“Definitely they are a beatable side. Yes they have been world champions often, so they’ve seen themselves as an Australian team in this situation many more times than the Indian team. So yes, the confidence is there, they know how to come to this stage and how to conquer this stage, which will apparently be missing in the Indian line-up,” said Chopra, who is currently officiating as a commentator at the ongoing World Cup.

The Mithali Raj-led side won five out of its seven group stage matches while Australia won six.

They got off to a sensational start in the tournament, winning four matches in a row, including a surprise 35-run win against hosts England in their opening game. However, their winning streak was brought to an end by South Africa, who defeated them by 115 runs.

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The Meg Lanning-led side added to India’s woes by crushing them by eight wickets in their next game.

In what was a virtual quarter-final against New Zealand, Indian eves bounced back to register a massive 186-run win and enter the semis.

Australia, on the other hand, have lived up to the expectations of being title favourites. They defeated South Africa by 59 runs in their previous game, without their skipper Lanning.

Chopra, who was a member of the team that reached the final in 2005, losing to Australia by 98 runs in Centurion, was elated to see the positive response which Raj and her team have been getting in India.

“It is wonderful to see the response back home,” she said.

“I have to confess I never expected it. I knew it would be a very big coverage before the start of the World Cup or before the build-up but the way the response has come about, I think it is phenomenal. The reason is the Indian team is winning and also that the men aren’t playing a series presently!”

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“Even the men’s cricketers, their support coming in the form of tweets, with encouraging words to the players, it has been phenomenal,” she added.

The winner of the second semifinal will face hosts England, who defeated South Africa to advance into final.

The summit clash will be played at the iconic Lord’s on July 23.

Australia are not invincible: Diana Edulji

Australia are not invincible but India will have to play out of their skins to beat the six-time champions in the second semi-final of the Women’s Cricket World Cup in Derby tomorrow, says former captain Diana Edulji.

“Australia are the most successful team in women’s cricket but you can’t call them invincible. India can beat them provided they have their plans in place, just like the last game against New Zealand,” Edulji, who is also a COA member, told PTI.

India humbled New Zealand by 186 runs in a do-or-die match to make the semi-finals.

India, whose best result in World Cup has been a final appearance in 2005, suffered an eight wicket loss against Australia in the round robin stage.

“India must bat and put the scoreboard pressure on the opposition, provided they win the toss. Australian openers are in form so is their inspirational captain and number three Meg Lanning. If they bat first, Australia might just run away with the game,” feared Edulji.

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On the contrary, Indian opener Smriti Mandhana has suffered five failures on the trot after firing in the first two games.

“That has really hurt India. Because in the first two games, she could give brisk starts to the team and Mithali (Raj) was solid in the middle overs. Smriti needs to be back among runs tomorrow as she is key to India scoring over 250,” said Edulji.

Mithali, however, has led from the front with 356 runs from seven games at an average of 50.85.

“India also need to bat the way they did against New Zealand. They used their feet against the spinners and got the results. By now all teams know that Indian batswomen don’t use their feet much. So I hope they go in with a similar frame of mind and continue using their feet,” said Edulji.

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“From the bowling point of view, getting Rajeshwari Gayakwad in place of Ekta Bisht proved to be a masterstroke She can turn the ball while Ekta generally bowls flat,” she said referring to Gayakwad’s match-winning five-wicket haul against New Zealand.

“Another good thing to do would be to play a bit defensive by having the long on and long off in place against Australia’s big hitters,” added Edulji.

First Published: Jul 19, 2017 12:09 IST