Mandhana feels confident about upcoming clash against Australia

Auckland [New Zealand], March 18 (ANI): India batter Smriti Mandhana feels confident about playing against Australia, ahead of a repeat of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2017 semi-final at Eden Park on Saturday.

Five years ago, India beat Australia by 36 runs to make the final and they need another victory this time around to keep alive their hopes of progressing to the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 semi-finals.

Convincing wins over Pakistan and the West Indies have been marred by equally emphatic defeats to hosts New Zealand and reigning champions England, with India unable to guarantee their place in the last four if they suffer any further slip-ups.

Opener Mandhana has made a blistering start to the tournament, racking up 216 runs at an average of 54, and is relishing the prospect of coming up against the unbeaten favourites.

“I don’t really know what gets the best out of me against Australia, but I think they’re a really competitive team. And sometimes when the bowlers are going hard on you and I’m not an aggressive person by nature, but, somewhere inside me, there is an instinct where I want to really do well and get back at them with the bat,” said Mandhana in an official statement.

“That’s something which may really motivate me against Australia and it is a very important game tomorrow, so I hope I can contribute against them,” she added.

After Harmanpreet Kaur’s blistering unbeaten 171 off 115 balls knocked Australia out of the last World Cup, you could be forgiven for thinking India may have a psychological edge on the big stage but both camps insist the events of that dramatic day in Derby will play no part.

“Everyone knows what happened in 2017 but I think it’s better that we don’t really think about it. It’s going to be a fresh day. More than 2017, we definitely had a word about how we went about in the series against Australia when we were touring Australia [last year] and the kind of cricket we played there and the kind of bowling we did there,” she said.

Coming to the ongoing World Cup, Team India will be facing Australia for their next clash on Saturday in Auckland. (ANI)

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