As redemption stories go, India Women overturning the disappointment of 2020 to secure another chance at T20 World Cup glory would do nicely. The only problem is, they have to make it past Australia – again.
2023 Tournament form guide
India WLWW (most recent first)
In the spotlight
India may be tempted to swap out Devika Vaidya for an additional bowler or allrounder as they look to contain Australia. Radha Yadav is a gun fielder and a safe choice with India likely to opt for another spin option over seam. She made way for Vaidya against Ireland since she was unwell but could force her way back in if fit.
India (possible): Shafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (capt), Richa Ghosh (wk), Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Shikha Pandey, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Renuka Singh.
Alyssa Healy is fit and available for selection after missing Australia’s final group game against South Africa when she felt some discomfort in her left quad and all precautions were taken given that she has only recently returned from a calf injury to the same leg. Australia coped ably without her, moving Ellyse Perry to the top of the order and bringing in allrounder Annabel Sutherland, but everyone knows what an asset a fit Healy is to her side.
Australia (possible): Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning (capt), Ellyse Perry, Ashleigh Gardner, Tahlia McGrath, Grace Harris, Georgia Wareham, Alana King, Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown
Pitch and conditions
Newlands has been playing slow this summer but there was considerably more pace on the surface during the last of the group games on Tuesday. Cape Town had some rain in the lead-up to those matches which would have helped with that given that the square has been baking for a good couple of months now. Thursday’s semi-final is likely to be played on a fresh pitch with the fine, sunny but not-too-hot conditions of match eve forecast to continue into game day.
Stats and trivia
“As a group, we are very calm and we know that teams are going to come pretty hard at this and they have done over the last few years, and just to be able to absorb some pressure, I think is really important. You’re not going to have it all your own way… big games, there’re key moments that come up and tomorrow will be no different. I feel like we’re in a really good spot to be able to stay nice and calm and composed in those moments and hopefully get the job done.”
Captain Meg Lanning on Australia’s trademark mental composure.
“They attack a lot so, whatever happens to them, even if the batter is out, they don’t stop attacking because they have batters from top to bottom. We also have batters from top to bottom so we will play an attacking game.”
India’s Richa Ghosh on giving Australia a dose of their own medicine.
Valkerie Baynes is a general editor, women’s cricket, at ESPNcricinfo