India vs Pakistan Live Streaming - ICC Women's World Cup 2013
Not often is the build up to an India versus Pakistan clash – whatever the occasion – as low-key as the one for the seventh-place playoff at the 2013 ICC Women's World Cup. With the two teams failing to qualify for the Super Sixes, the match at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Thursday (February 7) holds very little significance except academic.
India's 139-run loss to Sri Lanka not only knocked it out of the tournament, but also meant the team has to now go through the qualifiers for the next edition in 2017, which is why it stands to lose more than it could gain against a side coming off three straightforward defeats. What could come as a silver lining for India, though, is an opportunity to change guard at the top and provide a platform for the younger players to express themselves as a means of keeping an eye on the future.
After India's loss to England in its second league match, Mithali Raj, the captain, went to the extent of billing the Sri Lanka game a 'perform or perish' contest. While that has now been sorted out, it remains to be seen how India approaches its final game in the tournament.
While expecting a quick turnaround to its fortunes any time in the near future may be too far-fetched, India will still fancy its chances of overcoming Pakistan purely going by its superior batting strength. But a long travel day means that the team heads into the game after very little time to introspect on the loss to Sri Lanka. From India’s point of view, the talent on display in the first three games was hard to ignore. Thirush Kamini, making a comeback to the squad after nearly three years, set the tone with a magnificent century in the win over West Indies. In the next game against England, Harmanpreet Kaur showed why she is the next big thing in the Indian batting department, when she smashed an unbeaten century, albeit in a losing cause. But while the batting showed promise in patches, the bowling, with the exception of Jhulan Goswami, was largely unimpressive, conceding 250-plus in consecutive games. The pace attack, against Sri Lanka in particular, looked pedestrian and in the absence of Niranjana Nagarajan, there was hardly any penetration. Pakistan's familiarity with the conditions at Barabati Stadium, where it has been lodged since its arrival in India, will definitely play to its advantage. While the pitches have tended to be on the slower side, its bowling line-up has adjusted very well to the conditions, often causing a bit of a flutter, like it did against Australia, who was bowled out for 175. Qanita Jalil and Asmavia Khokhar have troubled sides with their accuracy, and the fielding too has looked quite sharp.
The worry lies in its batting. With a highest team total of 104 in three outings, there is very little to be optimistic about, but Sana Mir, the captain, and Nain Abidi, touted to be the best batter in the team, would hope to set things straight.
Pakistan will approach the game as another opportunity to get one over India and end its campaign on a winning note. And for inspiration, all it needs to do is go back five months to the ICC World Twenty20 where it beat India. A repeat of that would be the perfect way to end what has been a very difficult tour on various fronts.
Pakistan: Sana Mir (capt), Bismah Maroof, Nain Abidi, Sidra Amin, Diana Baig, Elizebath Barkat, Nahida Bibi, Qanita Jalil, Asmavia Iqbal Khokhar, Syeda Batool Fatima Naqvi, Nida Rashid, Rabiya Shah, Sumaiya Siddiqui, Javeria Wadood, Sadia Yousaf.
India: Mithali Raj (capt), Harmanpreet Kaur, Ekta Bisht, Karu Jain, Jhulan Goswami, Reema Malhotra, Mona Meshram, Sulakshana Naik, Nagarajan Niranjana, Rasanara Parwin, Poonam Raut, Amita Sharma, Shubhlakshmi Sharma, Thirush Kamini, Gouher Sultana.