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Women's T20 World Cup: Australia Women v India Women preview

Women's T20 World Cup holders Australia made smooth progress through the group stage of the tournament and they face India in a heavyweight semi-final on Thursday.

The dominant Aussies have won five of the last six Twenty20 World Cups and are 1/5 to see off India - the team they thrashed in the 2020 final - at Newlands in Cape Town.

WhatAustralia Women v India Women
WhereNewlands, Cape Town, South Africa
When13:00, Thursday 23rd February
How to watchbet365 Sports Live Streaming, Sky Sports Cricket
OddsAustralia Women 1/5, India Women 7/2

Batting depth makes Aussies hard to beat

Australia arrived at the T20 World Cup in South Africa as overwhelming favourites to claim their sixth title and they seem to be relishing the pressure of expectation.

They started their campaign with what, on paper, should have been their toughest Group 1 fixture against New Zealand, but the Aussies thumped their neighbours by 97 runs with Ash Gardner taking 5-12 as the White Ferns were bowled out for just 76.

Regulation victories over Bangladesh and Sri Lanka followed, by margins of eight and 10 wickets, before Australia showcased their batting depth against tournament hosts South Africa.

With prolific opener Alyssa Healy left out as a precautionary measure, the holders slipped to 40-3 in pursuit of a target of 125, but any hopes South Africa had of claiming a famous win were demolished by Tahlia McGrath's blistering innings of 57 off 33 balls.

McGrath, who also smashed 91 not out from 49 deliveries against England in January 2022, is 17/2 to be Australia's Team Top Batter in the semi-final and those odds reflect the quality of their batting line-up.

Healy, who should return to the side after scores of 55, 37 and 54 not out in her first three appearances at the tournament, is 11/4.

Youngster Ghosh aiming for more glory

India's Group 2 clash with England was always likely to be a pivotal fixture with both teams eager to avoid a semi-final date with Australia.

Renuka Singh took 5-15 to restrict England to 151-7 in Gqeberha, but India fell 11 runs short in the run-chase and, with both sides winning all of their other group matches, they had to settle for the runners-up spot.

India are the only team to have beaten Australia in their last 21 completed T20 matches, although they needed a Super Over to get over the line after a high-scoring tie in Mumbai last December.

India are 7/2 to upset the world champions again in Cape Town, but they have lost nine of their last ten T20 meetings with Australia, dating back to an 85-run defeat in the 2020 World Cup final at the MCG.

Smriti Mandhana was Player of the Match in India's Mumbai Super Over triumph before Christmas, scoring 79 off 49 balls, and the opener has also impressed at this tournament.

Mandhana made 52 against England and 87, featuring nine fours and three sixes, in the rain-affected win over Ireland, and she is 7/1 to be Player of the Match in the semi-final.

The vice-captain is 12/5 to be India's Team Top Batter although Australia's new-ball threat means exciting young wicketkeeper-batter Richa Ghosh is worth considering at 7/1.

Ghosh has had a busy start to 2023, helping India win the Under-19 T20 World Cup final against England on 29th January, before flying home for the trophy celebrations and returning to South Africa to join up with the senior squad.

The 19-year-old blasted 91 not out off 56 balls with nine sixes in a warm-up game against Bangladesh, and started the tournament with unbeaten knocks of 31, 44 and 47 against Pakistan, the West Indies and England.

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Schutt shows her wicket-taking threat again

Australia fast bowler Megan Schutt was the leading wicket-taker in the 2020 T20 World Cup and she is joint-top of the standings again in 2023 after picking up eight scalps in four Group 1 matches.

Schutt is 11/10 to take over 1.5 Bowler Total Match Wickets in Thursday's semi-final, although she has managed that in only five of her 15 T20 internationals against India, one of which was the 2020 World Cup final in which she claimed 4-18.

Renuka Singh is 6/4 to pick up over 1.5 Bowler Total Match Wickets and India will hope for a repeat of her five-wicket haul against England, when she dismissed the top three batters inside the Powerplay overs.

Australia's batting unit is a formidable obstacle, however. Since posting 173-9 in their opening win over New Zealand, the Aussies have lost only six wickets in three matches and they may prove hard to stop at Newlands.

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