South Africa is the only team to have beaten India in the latter’s last 21 encounters. It came during the league stages of the Quadrangular Series in Potchefstroom earlier this year and that was one of the five games that the two sides have played against each other in 2017. There is no surprise element left and both the captains agreed that it will boil down to which of the two teams executes their plan better.
Indian spinners have been the talking point of this tournament, but the same cannot be said about its pace bowling or fielding. But it is their top-order batting that needs to come to the party if India is to fancy its chances of beating South Africa at Grace Road and confirm a place in the semi-final. With the team having played 359 dot balls against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Mithali Raj admitted that the top-order needs to show more intent to take the score past 250. South Africa, on the other, hand is wounded after allowing England to make 373 in its previous game. Dane van Niekerk said that bowlers are “hurt” but she is excited to see how they respond.
India, who will be playing here for the first time in this tournament, just need to look at the history of the venue for some inspiration. It was here in 2006 against England that it saved the Test with just two wickets in hand. It carried that momentum to win the game in Taunton and record India’s first-ever Test series victory in England. Raj and Jhulan Goswami are the only surviving members from that squad, while Hemalata Kala is one of the travelling selectors.
New Zealand Vs Pakistan, The County Ground, Taunton, 3pm IST
South Africa Vs India, Grace Road, Leicester, 3 pm IST
England Vs Australia, Bristol County Ground, Bristol, 3 pm IST
West Indies Vs Sri Lanka, County Ground, Derby, 3 pm IST