About the Match
Five teams are fighting for the final 4 spots in the World Cup which will all but certainly lead to an exciting last couple of rounds of matches. In focus now are Australia and India, both needing just one win to ensure their place in the knockouts but ideally wanting to win both of their last matches to book a place in the first semi-final.
The pre-tournament favorites have only lost one game, to England so far, in a match that could well be a precursor of the eventual final. Before that though, Australia has two relatively tough matches against India and South Africa.
Australia’s record against India is phenomenal, having lost only 8 out of 41 games, however, they did lose the last match that they played against them.
One of the major problems for Australia has been the number of extras they have given away in the tournament so far. At 112 extras already, Australia is easily leading the dubious distinction of giving away the most number of extras of any team.
All of those free runs also come with extra balls to be bowled and potentially scored off. Their last loss against England was only by 3 runs and the 23 extras they gave away clearly was the difference between winning and losing.
The Aussie batting has been in excellent form is easily the strongest of all teams. Three batters (Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry, and Nicole Bolton) have scored more than 200 runs in this tournament already. Their scoring rates are also very impressive an d most batters are scoring at close to run a ball, much higher than what most other teams manage.
Kristen Beams has been the stand out bowler for the team so far with 9 wickets and would be hoping to pick up some early wickets to push back the Indians.
After a strong start in the competition where they upset the hosts England, India has started to stutter somewhat. They were beaten soundly by South Africa and have to win at least one match against either Australia or New Zealand to move on in the competition.
This is not going to be easy especially considering the recent run of low scores that the Indian batting has been putting up.
Smriti Mandhana and Mitali Raj combined to provide much of the batting firepower in the initial few matches along with Deepti Sharma and Punam Raut but no one else down the order has contributed anything of note.
Opposition teams know that they only need to get a couple of wickets at any time in the game to spark a collapse. For India to compete against the best side in the world, the batters must fire otherwise they will simply be overpowered.
Of course, another way to ease the pressure on the batting is for the bowling to step up. India has some quality spinners that could put Australia in trouble. Bisht has been in excellent form and has taken 9 wickets in the tournament, adding a whole new dimension to the Indian bowling since her inclusion.
Pitch and Condition
The match is being at the County Ground in Bristol and has proven to be one where the batsmen have prospered up until now. The dry weather should continue although English conditions can be quite fickle. An unusually hot and dry summer will increase the chances of the pitch taking some spin, aiding India.
Australia to win