India, Australia keen to bounce back to winning ways

Vastavam web:  Their four-match unbeaten streak brought to a halt, India will be keen to bounce back and take a step towards securing a semifinal spot when they take on the mighty Australia in the ICC Women’s World Cup, here tomorrow.India were on a rampaging run beating England, West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka before South Africa disturbed their momentum with a massive 115-run win.Neither of the teams have yet qualified for the semi- finals but Australia are in a better position by virtue of a strong net run-rate. The Aussies lost to England by just three runs, while India were defeated by a huge margin.

In the previous game against South Africa, India had a great chance of sealing a semifinal berth but now they have their task cut out in the remaining round robin games against two strong teams in Australia and New Zealand.The last match witnessed an abject batting surrender by India as they got out for a meagre 158 while chasing 274.India’s record against Australia is not great with eight wins in 41 completed matches, but skipper Mithali Raj’s 89 set up a five-wicket win the last time the teams met.

They would expect the likes of in-form Smriti Mandhana, Punam Raut and Harmanpreet Kaur, besides Deepti and Mithali to fire in unison against the Australians. Shikha Pandey, who came back into the side against South Africa and took three wickets for 40 runs, said her team was aware of the precarious position they were in.”We need to play more attacking cricket and need to plan better. Even before the World Cup started, we said that we were going to do our best and not have to depend on other teams,” she added.For Australia, tomorrow’s game is a return to Bristol where England sneaked a three-run win and skipper Meg Lanning said they would have to bounce back quickly and put on a strong performance.