Cape Town, Feb 22 (IANS) Ahead of India’s semi-final clash against Australia in the 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, wicketkeeper-batter Richa Ghosh acknowledged that the Meg Lanning-led side are a strong team. But at the same time, she felt India had it in them to hand Australia a defeat.
Australia, defending champions in the competition, head into the semi-finals as firm favourites, especially with a 3-2 upper hand over India in Women’s T20 World Cup matches. Moreover, Australia got the better of India in the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup final at the MCG and Commonwealth Games gold medal match last year in Birmingham.
But India is also the only side to whom Australia have lost twice since T20Is in 2021. “We can beat Australia, it’s not that we can’t beat them – because we did it in the last series in India and we did it before as well. But yes, they are a strong team but we can beat them also,” said Richa in the pre-match press conference.
Richa refused to divulge into the strategies which will be employed by India against Australia in the semi-final at Newlands Cricket Ground. “Yes, we have noticed the weak spots and we have also planned it. But if we say those weak spots here, they will be ready in advance. So, I don’t want them to be prepared for anything right now and get any information.”
In the tournament, Richa has stepped up to lead the charge as India’s finisher, having been dismissed once in four games, while scoring 122 runs at a strike rate of 140. She has been thriving in South African conditions, where she played as a member of the U19 Women’s T20 World Cup winning team last month.
“I just look at the ball and try to play, like who is bowling and what is the situation. Like, the situation matters and how the pitch is behaving. But I mainly focus on one ball at a time. I focus more on looking at the ball and playing according to it, because when we think that bowler is a top bowler, then we start to get nervous. But I don’t want that. So, I just look at the ball and play,” she explained on her approach as a finisher.
Richa also elaborated on how her expertise in pull shot was honed in her formative years. “Mainly, the pull shot was my favourite since I was a kid. Pull, lofted and all, I like all these shots. In domestic cricket, didn’t have the balls for the pull shot. So, that was banned.”
“But when I played the first international match against Australia, they were targeting us with short balls and were giving out bouncers. So, I worked on that and started working with the coaches in the Indian team and the state coach. So, that’s how it is.”
Richa signed off by saying anything around 180 will be good for India if they get to bat first. “As we saw in the pitch, we don’t know how it will behave tomorrow. But the pitch looks good. So, we can target 180 in this pitch if our batsmen click. And we will try to keep them in 140-150 in the bowling. Because their batting line-up is good. So, we will try that.”