About the Match
A better script could not have been written as the final day of the league stages will decide the fourth team to make the semifinals. India and New Zealand face off in a virtual quarter final in a tense encounter as both teams have similar strengths and weaknesses. Will India regain their form of the early tournament or will New Zealand make sure that no Asian team is represented in the knock out stages?
With 4 wins from their first 4 matches, India could not have asked for a better start to this tournament. They have however lost form quickly and now face a tough challenge against New Zealand to move on further in this tournament.
India has been let down by its fast bowling in this tournament as they have failed to pick up early wickets and often given away easy runs. The spinners, on the other hand, have been exceptional but to expect them to change the course of the game every time is a little too much.
Ekta Bisht with 9 wickets has provided guile and control with her left arm spin and will be the key against New Zealand as well. Deepti Sharma and Poonam Yadav will also be important to the cause since Goswami and Harmanpreet Kaur have underperformed in the matches so far.
India has some very decent batters at their disposal such as Punam Raut, Smriti Mandhana, and skipper Mithali Raj but intent to score runs quickly has been lacking in the last couple of games.
India must hope that Mandhana sheds off her recent failures and guides the Indian batting like in the opening half of the competition.
New Zealand is always one of the fancied teams in every world competition but failing in crucial matches has almost become their signature. They will need to fight against those memories as much they need to overcome this Indian team.
This New Zealand team has some awesome batters in their ranks and much like the Indians, some very impressive spinners. Their strategy will be similar to the Indians in hoping to score as many runs as possible by batting first and then using the spinners to choke out the opposition.
In Suzie Bates, Rachel Priest, Amy Satterthwaite and Sophie Devine they have the batting to score the runs but facing the Indian spinners could be a challenge. Devine and Priest, in particular, could be the players to try and hit the Indian spinners off their length, a risky strategy but one that could pay rich rewards.
The real star for the Kiwis has been 16-year old Amelia Kerr who has shown remarkable poise under pressure and has 10 wickets to her name.Off spinner, Leigh Kasperek with 7 wickets and Lea Tahuhu with 8 are also in excellent form and will look to take advantage of an Indian batting line-up under pressure.
Pitch and Conditions
The match is being played at Derby, a ground where India has recorded three wins in the competition already and will be very familiar with the conditions. The pitch is usually conducive to spin bowling, something that both teams will not mind, and run scoring is expected to get difficult in the second innings.
The threat of rain though could force the team winning the toss to chase.
New Zealand to wi