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World T20: India women look to bounce back in must-win tie vs England

30Unlucky to have lost the previous tie against Pakistan by just two runs via Duckworth/Lewis method, the Indian women’s cricket team need a win to stay alive in the tournament when they take on a strong England side at the ICC World T20 in Dharamsala on Tuesday.

A defeat would virtually throw the home team out of the competition and the Mithali Raj-led side would hope to put their best foot forward against the English women.

Unlike the previous edition, where the India women were ousted in the group stages, they are a strong contender this time around, thanks to their recent good showing in the T20 format, including a historic 2-1 away series win over mighty Australia in January followed by the 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka in the run up to the ongoing World T20.

In their last match also, India could have won the tie had rains not played spoilsport.

Although the hosts posted a meagre 96 for seven and also started badly in their defence, they had pulled things back and had reduced Pakistan to 77 for six in 16 overs when the heavens opened up.

At that stage, Pakistan needed 20 off 24 balls to win, but the downpour brought proceedings to a grinding halt and the match could never start within the cut-off time and the D/L par score was 75 at that point, giving Pakistan the win as they were two runs ahead.

India did not bat too well against Pakistan but the likes of Mithali Raj, Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy are capable of getting the better of any side if they fire in unison.

The bowling department spearheaded by veteran Jhulan Goswami is also expected to come good with Shikha Pandey, Poonam Yadav and Anuja Patil also in form.

India will take confidence from their recent performances when they take the field at this picturesque stadium for the first time ever in an international match.

Fascinated by the beauty of the hill town, captain Mithali said, “Most of us are visiting Dharamsala for the first time and all are enjoying the beauty of snow covered mountains.