Fresh from their win in the last match against New Zealand, spirited India will fight with six-time world champion Australia to become the 2nd finalist of women’s world cup at country ground Derby on 20 July in England.
Although Australian girls lead in head-to-head comparison with an overwhelming 34-8 win-loss record over India, it will be Indian girls who will put in their everything to seal the final spot as this might be the last world cup for Indian skipper Mithali Raj and pacer Jhulan Goswami.
Backtrack to 2009 world cup, when India created history by winning back to back two matches against Australia in a world cup clash. Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Punam Yadav and Harmanpreet Kaur are the warriors of those incredible World Cup victories. On Thursday, India needs to recreate that history. That's why India will need the best of best from Indian opener Smriti Mandhana and Raj.
As per the past records, India had won only two matches against Australia in a world cup clash while Australia had won 8 matches.
Also in ongoing world cup's group stage matches, India won five of their seven games while Australia won six. Not only this, but India had won only one match against Australia in their four ODIs since 2013 WC.
The recipe to win the highly-anticipated semi final is very clear, the team will be required to get the best out of the 50 overs by playing attacking cricketing and filling the bucket with runs if they get to bat first.
Statistically, in this world cup, the team scoring more than 250 runs in the first inning has won all the matches with only one exception being the match between Sri Lanka and Australia.
One of India's major concern in the match will be the fall in Smriti Mandhana's performance in last five matches. If India wants to win this match, Mandhana and Poonam will have to produce excellent performance.
The Indian team also have the plus point of having highest run scorer Mithali Raj and highest wicket taker Jhulan Goswami in ODIs.
Last match's star performer, Veda Krishnamurti once again will be required to rise with her performance and senior all-rounder Harmanpreet Kaur will be able to make the best of her experience which will ultimately help team India.
India has a long and strong batting line up. So their first target should be to win the toss and choose to bat and score at least 270 runs.
The bowling department consists of talents like Ekta Bisht and Deepti Sharma, who are capable of decimating the opponent's batting line-up.
The other plus point for India will be the pressure and expectations that everyone has from Australian team and the Derby ground is like a home ground for Indian girls as they have won all the matches played on this ground.