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Women’s World Cup: Can India clip New Zealand’s claws in must-win game?

Their confidence on a low after two consecutive defeats, India face a do-or-die situation when they take on New Zealand in what can be termed as a virtual quarter-final of the Women’s World Cup here today

Mithali Raj-led India have lost their last two matches in the Women's World Cup. Pic/Getty Images
Mithali Raj-led India have lost their last two matches in the Women’s World Cup. Pic/Getty Images

Their confidence on a low after two consecutive defeats, India face a do-or-die situation when they take on New Zealand in what can be termed as a virtual quarter-final of the Women’s World Cup here today.

Hanging on to fourth spot on the points table, a loss will shatter India’s semi-final hopes. After starting the tournament on a promising note with four wins on the trot, India slumped to their second straight loss on Wednesday.

At Bristol, they were defeated by a dominant Australia by eight wickets, despite a fighting century from Punam Raut, and a record breaking 69 from captain Mithali Raj.

Whoever wins will secure the last remaining semi-final spot with hosts England, SA and defending champions Australia already qualifying for the last last four.

Heading into the last league games, England, South Africa and Australia will primarily play for position in the semi-final but for India and New Zealand it is a do-or-die situation.

India would expect the likes of Smriti Mandhana, Punam Raut and Harmanpreet Kaur, besides Deepti Sharma and Raj to fire in unison against the dangerous New Zealand.

On the bowling front, pace spearhead Jhulan Goswami has looked a pale shadow of herself in the tournament so far and the Indians would be relying on their spinners — Deepti, Ekta Bisht, Harmanpreet and Poonam Yadav to take the responsibility on their shoulders.

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