Women’s Cricket World Cup: India need to step up vs New Zealand, says Mithali Raj
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Women’s Cricket World Cup: India need to step up vs New Zealand, says Mithali Raj

India will take on New Zealand in what will be a virtual shootout for the Women’s Cricket World Cup semi-final spot.

cricket Updated: Jul 14, 2017 19:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Women’s Cricket World Cup,Mithali Raj,India women's cricket team
The Indian cricket team will take on New Zealand in the Women’s Cricket World Cup on Saturday.(Reuters)

India skipper Mithali Raj has demanded improvement from her team and believes the ability to cope with the pressure of a must-win game will be the deciding factor. It will be a winner-takes-all at the County Ground in Derby on Saturday as India and New Zealand square off for the last semi-final spot at the Women’s Cricket World Cup.

“You can’t just give up because you lose one game. India has always had the problem that when faced with the crunch matches, the team does not necessarily step up. If it is a very crucial game in the T20s, the World Cup, or even just that dictates a series win, we tend to fall down in that match,” said Mithali.

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England, Australia and South Africa all booked a place in the last-four with victories on Wednesday, leaving a straight shootout for the fourth and final qualification spot.

The side to top the eight-team league will play the fourth-placed outfit in the first semi-final in Bristol on July 18 while the sides finishing second and third will feature in the second semi-final in Derby on July 20.

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“The girls are so talented, but it’s just a matter of how well they pull themselves up after a defeat. That’s what makes world champions. As a team, we have to step up. If we perform again like against Australia it will not be enough,” said Mithali.

Victory for either team will see them through while a tie or a washout would be enough for India to pip New Zealand as the Asian team is currently one point better off.

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Yet both teams will need to bounce back from defeats in the penultimate round of pool matches where New Zealand lost by 75 runs to England and India were beaten by eight wickets by Australia.

“We really have to improve all over the pitch, especially producing more consistency from how we are bowling and fielding. Our bowlers need to be more consistent in terms of their areas and bowling the good balls,” added Mithali.

First Published: Jul 14, 2017 19:41 IST