Indian women’s cricket team have had an impressive start to their International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s World T20I campaign defeating New Zealand and arch-rivals Pakistan in their first two matches and will look to seal a semi-finals berth when they go against Ireland in group B on Thursday. Also Read - BCCI Announce India Women Squad For South Africa ODI, T20I Series; Mithali Raj to Lead in ODIs, Harmanpreet Kaur in-Charge of T20I Side

The women-in-blue displayed a commendable team effort in their opening fixtures, While the game witnessed a composed effort from Mithali Raj to outclass Pakistan, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues saw off the White Ferns in a tricky match. Also Read - Indian Women's Tour of Australia Postponed to Next Season: Cricket Australia

Going into Thursday’s match, India will be desperately hoping for their opening batswoman Smriti Mandhana to come up with a big score. After failing in the opener, Mandhana got to a decent start in the second tie but eventually failed to capitalise on it. Also Read - ICC Announces Full Schedule For 2022 Women's World Cup, India to Open Campaign Against a Qualifier

While Harmanpreet and Mithali are expected to form the backbone of the Indian innings, the team management will be hoping to give enough match time to the likes of the other batswomen in Veda Krishnamurthy, stumper Taniya Bhatia and Dayalan Hemalatha before the tournament enters its business end.

Coming to India’s bowling in the opening two games, it has been the spinners — Hemalatha and Poonam Yadav — ruling the roost in both the games. The spin duo of Hemalatha and Poonam shared six and four wickets between them in the two matches.

Ireland, on the other hand, has lost both their opening two matches. In the first match, they went down to Australia by nine wickets followed by a 38-run defeat against Pakistan in the second.

The batting department failed in both the matches as the batters could only manage to score 93 runs in the first match and 101 in the second match.

The bowlers also disappointed as they could only pick up seven wickets in the two matches. But the good news is that pacer Lucy O Reilly came back to form in the last match, taking three wickets.

Squads:
India: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (WK), Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Anuja Patil, Ekta Bisht, Dayalan Hemalatha, Mansi Joshi, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy.

Ireland: Laura Delany (Captain), Kim Garth, Cecelia Joyce, Isobel Joyce, Shauna Kavanagh, Amy Kenealy, Gaby Lewis, Lara Maritz, Ciara Metcalfe, Lucy OReilly, Celeste Raack, Eimear Richardson, Clare Shillington, Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron.

(IANS Inputs)