India opener Shafali Verma‘s father Sanjeev Verma wants his daughter to play like legendary Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag for a better start in the semi-final against Australia in the ongoing Women’s T20 World Cup on Thursday. The first semi-final at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 is rapidly approaching, with the defending champions facing the last team to beat them in a competitive T20 international. It doesn’t get much bigger than Australia versus India at Newlands, and the two sides have been preparing to duke it out for a spot in Sunday’s showpiece match at the same ground.
There is a lot of excitement in Shafali’s family in Rohtak about the semi-finals; they have full hope that Team India will win and make it to the finals.
Shafali’s father Sanjeev Verma also gave some tips to the India opener before the match. He said that he had talked to Shafali on the phone and told her that Australia’s bowler should not be allowed to be heavy and she should play fearlessly.
“If the opening is going well then there will be no pressure on the rest of the players. Shafali was also very confident and I hope she will start like Virender Sehwag in the semi-final match. In matches like this when the opening pair does better, then they can easily control the match. Not only me, but the whole country will pray for the Indian team to win in the World Cup,” Sanjeev Verma told ANI.
India’s side will be packed with plenty of experience. The one big selection decision is likely to be whether they opt for Devika Vaidya or Radha Yadav in that extra all-rounder slot. Australia announced that Alyssa Healy has recovered from the injury that kept her out of the final group game.
Australia, the world’s number-one women’s T20 cricket team, has won the T20 World Cup five times in seven editions. India ranked fourth, has only made it to the final once. The two teams have contested the T20 match 30 times. India has only won six matches, whereas Australia has won 22. One match ended in a tie, while another ended in a draw.
India made it through with relative ease, despite the loss to England in their third match. Wins over Pakistan and West Indies saw Harmanpreet Kaur‘s side begin the tournament well, and they were effectively already through when they took to the field to play Ireland in their final match due to a superior net run rate. Rain denied the chance for that game to be completed, but India looked in a strong position thanks to having batted really nicely.
On the other hand, the world’s top-ranked team is aiming for a hat-trick of Women’s T20 World Cup title and they remain favourites after a dominant performance in the group stage. Meg Lanning‘s side has rarely looked in trouble and stopping them will be a tough task for India.
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