About the Match
We are into the second half of the tournament with three out of eight teams needing a miracle to qualify. The remaining five will fight it out for the top-four spots over the course of next couple of weeks. India have been fluent in this year’s World Cup and another win will almost ascertain their qualification to the playoffs. They take on South Africa who are placed fifth in the points table and are looking to rise up the ladder. Although India emerged as a better side in the bilateral series held recently between the two sides, we expect it to be a tight game considering a possible semi-final spot at stake.
With four wins in four games, India just need one win to feel safe as far as their qualification is concerned. Regardless to that, they’d not like to take South Africa lightly who scored 300 in their previous game while chasing a huge total albeit in a losing cause.
As seen in the competition so far, India is yet another batting powerhouse with Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, Mithali Raj and Punam Raut in superb form. Smriti Mandhana played two splendid knocks in the initial two matches of the competition but hasn’t fired since. Mithali Raj has been the key to success for India recently and her contribution with the ball might well dictate how well the match goes for India.
A batting powerhouse coupled with a superb bowling unit – this is what every coach and fan want from their team. This is exactly what is happening with the Indian team. Their batsmen failed miserably against Pakistan on a pitch, but bowlers responded with a clinical bowling effort taking India to their third win.
Against Sri Lanka, Indian batsmen managed to put a subpar total which could have been chased easily, but Indian bowlers kept it tight and never allowed the batsmen to chip way. Winning 20 out of last 21 games is a no small task, and if they continue to play like they’ve had, we might well see this 20 changed to 21.
South Africa have two wins to their name and with at least four wins required to qualify for the semi-finals, it will be imperative for South Africa to register a win here.
Their batting looked fine except for their performance in their first game where no one except for their openers looked settled as they crawled their way to the target. In their previous game against England, they almost chased down 373 runs.
They’ll miss the services of Andrie Steyn, who suffered an ankle injury during her training session and Odine Kirsten has been called up as her replacement. Although that does hurt their batting combination, their bowling will get strengthened as Kirten took a four-wicket haul the last time she played an ODI.
Overall, the South Africa side looks to be pretty balanced on paper. Their batswomen would have to deal well against Indian spinners and if they can do that, we’ll have a thrilling match at our hands.
The last time these two teams played was in the World Cup qualifying match where India sealed the match by hitting the six on the last match. There are enough reasons for one to believe that this match could be as thrilling. However, India has been in terrific form and emerged on top when the two teams faced each other off in the bilateral series and are out pick for winning the match.