Women's World T20 2018
India to fight fire with fire in WT20 rumble
Top billing on offer for winner of vital World T20 showdown, with India vowing to match Australia's aggression
Laura Jolly in Guyana
17 November 2018, 08:28 AM AEST
Australia will face their toughest test of the World T20 yet on Saturday, a top-of-the-table clash in Guyana against an Indian team that have promised to match the aggressive mindset of their top-ranked opponents.
Both teams are undefeated in Group B with one pool match remaining and while both have secured their spots in the semi-finals, top billing is on offer for the victor at Providence Stadium, with the match to begin at 2am Sunday AEDT.
Given the fickle Caribbean weather that's already played havoc with Group A matches in St Lucia, finishing as the top-ranked qualifier will bring added peace of mind given there is no reserve day in place for the semi-finals, to be played at Antigua's Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on November 22.
"We definitely want to take a win tomorrow and finish first," allrounder Ashleigh Gardner said on Friday.
"We don't know who we're going to play in the semi-final but (it's just about) playing some really positive cricket … and hopefully getting through to the final."
Australia were knocked out of last year's 50-over World Cup semi-finals by India, but have since recorded five consecutive victories against their subcontinent rivals across both formats, during a tour of India in March.
But star India opener Smriti Mandhana has promised to bring a more aggressive approach against Australia this time around, an attitude more akin to their performance in Derby last July.
"That's what our mindset will be, and to go all out," Mandhana said.
"Before coming into the World Cup, (coach) Ramesh had told us that you have to dominate each and every match, so that is the only mindset which we had the last three matches.
"I don't think it will change in the next match.
"The only mindset will be dominate, be aggressive, be yourself. That's it.
"We have to think that we are dominating, we are aggressive enough to defeat them."
Australia's 15-player squad will go into the game refreshed after a three-day break since their most recent pool match against New Zealand.
The players were granted a rare day off on Thursday to refresh ahead of the business end of the tournament, but it was back to business on Friday as the playing group went through their paces at Bourda Oval.
Kaieteur Falls 😍 Pretty darn lucky that cricket takes me around the world. Rest days done right 🙌🏼 #Guyana #shesabeaut pic.twitter.com/uZaDQWW38I— Megan Schutt (@megan_schutt) November 15, 2018
"We've been away for four, five weeks now so the days we do get off, it's pretty important to do not a lot," Gardner said.
"Some of the girls went away to (Kaieteur Falls) yesterday and had a great time and then had the afternoon off.
"I just think there needs to be time to recharge those batteries and just feel like yourself again."
Allrounder Gardner has been relishing the conditions at Guyana's Providence Stadium, which have suited her off-spin, as well as provided some assistance for the pace bowlers including Megan Schutt and Delissa Kimmince.
"It's been pretty challenging on the batting side of things, but the bowling group has really enjoyed it," she said.
"(We're getting some) turn and being an off-spinner and actually being able to grip the ball is pretty exciting.
"It's very different to Australian wickets where we don't get the same bite as we do here.
"So for (Megan Schutt) here, her slower balls are gripping as well, which is an exciting thing for our bowling group who have a lot of change ups and a lot of good spinners as well."
Australia's final group game against India begins at 11am local time Saturday (2am Sunday AEDT) and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports and the Nine Network.
2018 ICC Women's World T20
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
November 9: Australia beat Pakistan by 52 runs
November 11: Australia beat Ireland by nine wickets
November 13: Australia beat New Zealand by 33 runs
November 17: Australia v India, Province Stadium
November 22: Semi-finals, Sir Vivian Richards Ground, Antigua
November 24: Final, Sir Vivian Richards Ground