Sent crashing out of the women’s World Cup by Sri Lanka, India would seek to restore some pride when it takes on Pakistan in the classification match for seventh and eighth places here on Thursday.
The humiliating 138-run defeat against Sri Lanka also meant that India will now have to go through the qualifiers to feature in the next edition of the World Cup four years later.
The collective failure of the top order in the last two matches even in home conditions has hurt the team badly and India will need to regroup quickly to prevent an equally demoralised Pakistan emerging victorious.
The pressure will be on the Indians who have been hit hard by a sudden slump in form of their key batswomen after a comfortable 105-run win against the West Indies in the tournament opener and the inexperienced bowling attack has only compounded the misery for the hosts.
Both India and Pakistan have several issues to address leading up to the game at the Barabati Stadium. While India has struggled with the indifferent form of its bowlers, Pakistan has a lot to answer in the batting department.
The last two games against England and Sri Lanka saw Indian bowlers leaking close to 550 runs with the visitors finding it easy against the pace and spin trio of Jhulan Goswami, Nagarajan Niranjana and Ekta Bisht.
In the batting department, barring Harmanpreet Kaur, Karu Jain and Thirush Kamini, no other batswoman was able to convert the starts into a good score.
India would hope that the openers provide it a good platform after it missed out against England and Sri Lanka.
Its middle-order would have to pitch in to help set a competitive total to defend against Pakistan on a placid track.
India would be in no mood to take Pakistan lightly and would like to put its best foot forward in the day game.
The bowlers also need to perform better during the power play overs as most of the runs have been leaked during that period.
On the other hand, Pakistan has more reasons to worry than India as neither its batting nor bowling has clicked.
Keywords: ICC Women’s World Cup