India's Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur in action
India's Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur in action

World T20: India hopes to overcome English pressure

ANI | Updated: Nov 20, 2018 19:17 IST

Antigua [West Indies], Nov 20 (ANI): After squeezing past England to ensure top spot in the final Group-A fixture, West Indies will be now up against Australia in the semi-finals of the ICC Women's World T20 while India takes on England in the second semi-final.
This fixture has refreshed the 2017 World Cup finals when India lost by nine runs to England. But this time 'Women in Blue' would be eager to avenge the loss, when both the sides meet on Friday.
Following the nerve-wracking match that had fans on the edge of their seats in 2017, Indian skipper Mithali Raj had stated: "It wasn't easy for England, but have to credit them as they kept their nerve. There was a time when the match was in the balance, however, we panicked and they came out victorious."
Meanwhile, Australia's Anya Shrubsole, who ripped through the lower middle-order (6/46) to set up her side's fourth title win, said: "It is a fitting World Cup finale. There was a huge amount of pressure, but we showed a huge amount of fight and that was epitomised."
A year later, India has learnt how to deal with pressure and command any opponent on their day. This time Indian women would try to overcome those drawbacks and maintain cool in the field to beat England.
India's winless streak in T20 came to an end with 'Women in Blue' securing the top seat of the Group-B after clinching all four games against New Zealand, Pakistan, Ireland and Australia at Providence Stadium in Guyana.
Talking about the pressure, the whirlwind skipper (in T20 format) Harmanpreet Kaur, who blasted her maiden ton in the opener, said: "I think pressure gets the best out of me. I really enjoyed batting and it was a great feeling to contribute in what was a very important win for us. We have a lot to improve as a team and will be working on certain aspects as the tournament progresses."
The likes of Mithali Raj, Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues also turned the prestigious tournament in their favour with bat. Raj's standout half-century performances against Pakistan and Ireland helped India seal their place in the semi-finals. At the same time, opener Mandhana's brilliant knock of 83 runs from just 55 deliveries did a fine job to overcome the fear of dominating side, Australia.
The middle-order batter Jemimah Rodrigues, who scored her fourth half-century in the format, said: "We need to keep the momentum and keep doing the things. I think it plays a huge impact on our team and we look forward to it, but not get carried away and try to do even better in the semi-finals."
The bowlers department is filled with attackers like Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadhav, Deepti, Hemalatha and Mansi Joshi. They have already shown their strength and if needed, skipper Kaur can be economical while picking wickets at regular intervals.
The wicket-keeper batter, Tanya Bhatia has also improved behind the wickets and reminds of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's quick style. But in terms of fielding, India lacks persistence.
On the other hand, England, who had won all three games, settled at the second position after losing their last group fixture to West Indies. The match or better called the decider was important as it set up their semi-finals clash. However, England lost their contest as their batting unit got washed out by the Caribbean tide.
After the match, a disappointed Heather Knight said: "You can see from the disappointment on our faces from losing that game. We were obviously desperate to win. You want to take as much momentum as you can into those semi-finals."
India is all set to beat England's pressure this time, a la Lagan film, when both the sides clash for the final seat on Friday. (ANI)