India vs South Africa today in the Women’s World Cup, looking to extend their unbeaten run to five games and seal their spot for the semi-finals. The Mithali Raj-led team have got the better of England, West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and are second on the points table, below the defending champions Australia. South Africa’s fortunes have not been as bright, suffering a loss and washout in their four games. The Proteas will be desperate to pull ahead of the tough Indian lineup today at the County Ground in Leicester.
The Indian team have faced off against their South African rivals five times in the last six months, giving each side the kind of familiarity that would make the match extremely close. They played each other twice in the World Cup qualifiers, and thrice in the quadrangular tournament that South Africa hosted, and four of these times India was victorious. However, the one time South Africa did win, they broke India’a winning streak of 16 ODIs denying the South Asian team a world record. “It (the familiarity) helps a lot” said South Africa skipper Dane van Niekerk. “We have played them quite a lot in the past. It makes it easier with plans. We know where they hit, how they bowl, we have faced them a lot more than the rest of the world.”
India may re-introduce Shikha Pandey, who has been out of favour for some time but has a great record against the Proteas – she got a half century and a 3-fer in her first game against them, and has an average of 46 with the bat against them and 14 with the ball in the seven games she has played in.
South Africa have an inconsistent bowling to worry about against the formidable Indian batting. They got West Indies out for a mere 48 but went for 373 against England, and with India overwhelming the mighty Britons and Smriti Mandhana looking in special touch, the South Africans will be hoping their bowling in back in touch today.
The match will be telecast live at 3 PM(IST).