India Women are ready to showcase their skills in one of their most important games in the ICC Women's World T20 2016. Mithali Raj and her army have to win their last group game of the competition against West Indies Women to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Women in Blue are currently fourth in Group B. England Women, seated at the top of the group, have successfully qualified to the next round and we will learn Sunday who the other team joining them in the semis will be. West Indies Women or Pakistan Women realistically have a better chance to qualify for the semis, but India Women, with some sheer luck, can also see their aims fulfilled.
While West Indies and Pakistan are on four points, India remain on just two points with only one win in the competition this time. They, however, have a better run rate among the three.
This implies that if Mithali and her army manages to get past West Indies Women Sunday and England Women also defeats Pakistan Women in the other game of the day, India go through to the next round owing to a better run rate. There are two factors, therefore, determining India's fate to make the semis: a good-margin win and a sheer luck.
India will be very disappointed after not being able to get the results they have aspired for in the competition. Billed as one of the title contenders, the Women in Blue won their first game of the competition against Bangladesh Women by a whopping 72 runs. Following that, India Women lost against Pakistan Women by just mere two runs, according to the Duckworth-Lewis method, and then they suffered yet another defeat against England Women by just two wickets.
"We all have to put these two games behind us now and channel all our energy into winning the next match [against West Indies]," Ekta Bisht, who was impressive in India vs England in their last game, told BCCI.tv. "It is an extremely important match for us as we don't only have to win it but do so by a huge margin.
"The net run-rate will come into play now and we have to ensure we gain as much in that regards as we can. If we manage to get through to the semi-finals, we will take a lot of confidence from our fightback in those games too," the 30-year-old added.
West Indies Women suffered a defeat in their previous fixture but that doesn't mean they can be underestimated. The Caribbean side bagged a narrow win over Pakistan Women in their opening game of the competition and they took their winning run to two games as they won against Bangladesh Women by 49 runs in their second game.
The West Indies Women will definitely be keen to emulate their male counterparts by sealing a place for themselves too in the semis of the World T20.
Squads: India - Mithali Raj (C), Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Thirush Kamini, Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, Smriti Mandhana, Niranjana Nagarajan, Shikha Pandey, Anuja Patil, Deepti Sharma, VR Vanitha, Sushma Verma (wk), Poonam Yadav.
West Indies - Stafanie Taylor (C), Shakera Selman, Merissa Aguilleira (wk), Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Afy Flethcher, Stacy-Ann King, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Shaquana Quintyne, Tremayne Smartt.
India vs West Indies schedule:
Date: March 27, 2016.
Time: 3:30 p.m. IST (10 a.m. GMT, 6 a.m. EST).
Venue: Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali.
TV listings: India - Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD 2
UK: Sky Sports 2/HD
US: Willow TV