The semi-finals are set. India will face World Championships Australia in the first semifinals of the T20 World Cup 2023. Meanwhile, England will face host South Africa in the second semi-final of the World Cup. Although India have already played a match against England, facing Australia will be their biggest challenge so far in the tournament.
Former India cricketer, Gargi Banerjee feels that India need to go fearless and without pressure in the match in Australia. According to her, the world champions have everything to lose against India, whereas the Indian team can create history by defeating them.
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Since winning the 2020 T20 World Cup final against India, the Australian team has played 22 T20I matches and won 20 of them. Their record against India is phenomenal and with their full-strength team, it is quite tough to go past them.
The Aussies have lost just two official matches in any format since losing a T20I to New Zealand on March 21, 2021 – but notably, both of those defeats have come to India.
On the other hand, the Indian team didn’t look at their best till now in the tournament. Opener Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma have struggled to time the ball as well as they would love to. Although Smirti managed to score some runs against Ireland (87 from 56 balls) but didn’t look at her best.
“As I have already told you after the match against England, you cannot win against bigger teams with individual performances. We need a collective performance from India to be the world champions,” Gargi Banerjee said in an exclusive interview with Sportz Point.
The biggest worry for India is that Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur has not been in great touch in the tournament. She has already admitted to being “worried” about the dots balls she and her team is playing. Along with that bowlers have not been at their best either in the tournament except for Renuka Singh.
“Dot balls are something which [are] already worrying us. In the next game, we would love to see some improvement in that area also.”Harmanpreet Kaur said after the win against Ireland.
Renuka has been great with the new ball but lacked support from the spinners in the middle overs. Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Radha Yadav have been pretty average so far in the T20 World Cup 2023. Even India’s highest wicket-taker in T20 internationals, Deepti Sharma has not been consistent enough in the tournament.
“Yes, Renuka has been good. It will be great for India if she can give that early strike against Australia. Her spell in the powerplay would be vital in the semifinals,” Gargi Banerjee added.
“But the main thing is other bowlers need to support her. All of them are lacking, consistency and discipline in their bowling. This will be now or never for them. So how they bowled in the middle overs will decide the result of the match.”
In that case, the former India cricketer feels if India can bring Harleen Deol to the team, she can bring her all-round ability against the Aussies. Harleen can bowl a few hours of off-spin and also can score some vital runs in the middle order.
“We’re not expecting it to be easy by any means, whether it’s with a bat or the ball, but we certainly know the style of play they’ve come at us with in the past and they know ours pretty well, too.Beth Mooney said ahead of the semi-final against India.
Although Australia topped the group stage and won every match, they didn’t look at their peak either. Hence, if India can attack the horses with fearless cricket and manages to put pressure on the opponent, they can surely upset the world champions.
“It will be tough to beat Australia, but it isn’t impossible. They will have the pressure to retain the title and India will have everything to win. Hence, I believe India should go in with a fearless attitude and make things happen on the ground. My best wishes are with the team.”