August 18, 2022
England vs India 1st semi-final of Commonwealth Games – Harmanpreet Kaur
For Harmanpreet Kaur, playing for a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games “means a lot” and a favorable result in the final “could change a lot” for the sport in India.
Speaking after India’s four-run victory in the semi-final against England at Edgbaston on Saturday, Harmanpreet, who is now India’s all-format captain, said the result was possible because of the players’ extreme self-confidence and their never-ending defeat. was. attitude. For the record, this was India’s first win in a knockout game in a T20I event outside the Asia Cup.

“It means a lot to us, we have been working hard for so long,” said Harmanpreet. “It’s a great platform for us. Participating for the first time [in the CWG]if we can do well [in the final]Many things can change for us.

“We never thought or thought about who we are playing for and who we are not playing for. [Gold] Whether the medal will come or not is not in our hands. We just want to play well. We have learned a lot from the way we have played so far.”

At one point England needed 33 off 24 balls and with seven wickets in hand, the momentum seemed to have slipped away from India. But their spinners, Deepti Sharma and Sneh Rana, delivered exactly when the team needed them. For Harmanpreet, it was a revelation to see the energy on the field, especially under pressure.

“Until the very last moment, we believed we could win, even if they had some strong partnerships,” she said. “Even when they were going well, no one gave up. We’ve been working on this for a while. If you keep doing this, at some point the results will come, and I’m glad that it is now visible.

“It was an important match. It’s nice that everyone stepped up to their responsibilities with bat, ball and on the field. It’s important that they all stick together in such matches. In the last over, if you see, our pace The fielders took the responsibility of fielding in the deep. It shows how eager you are to do well for the team.”

Harmanpreet suggested that the key to India becoming serious contenders for the global title in recent times, no matter which one they won, is because they were trying to embrace the pressure and not be intimidated by the big stage. He credits support staff for trying to bring about this change and “bringing in new plans”.

“I’m a big fan of knowing how other teams are doing,” she said. “If you know about it, you can plan. We need someone who can help us like this and I’m glad it’s working for us.”

The plans that were put to good use on Saturday included, first, the pace of the ball against England’s middle-order batsmen, and second, having more deep-cover fielders than usual in the death overs. One such move was the decision to bowl to Shafali Verma in the 11th over with England needing 79 for 60.

Prior to this, India’s fast bowlers were heavily favored, and Harmanpreet knew nothing would do more than bring herself to that level, given that India had already used two off-spinners in Deepti and Rana. Is.

“When we brought him [Verma] I was bowling two offspinners,” Harmanpreet explained. “If we had brought in a third [offspinner]It would have been easier for England. Shafali mixes it well, she is always keen to bowl. You need someone who enjoys bowling and wants the ball in tough conditions.

“Whenever I ask her if she wants to bowl, she gets excited. Under pressure, sometimes, a bowler may not be able to give his best, but his enthusiasm inspires others as well. It sends a message that if there is someone who ‘a regular bowler is not so keen to bowl and make a difference, it gives extra responsibility’ [main] bowler.”

On the batting front, Harmanpreet said the plan was to try big in the powerplays and surprise England. Smriti Mandhana’s charge that day, which made her half-century in 23 balls – Fastest for India in T20Is – Helped India in a big way, and his 50 runs came in 4.3 overs, his fastest in the format.

“The reason we bat [after winning the toss] Do we want to dominate the first six? The way Smriti batted was worth watching. We were looking for over 150. In games like this, you must have [a big] Total on board.

“Memory is what always wants to do well for the team. That innings got us excited, and we could use those moments when the opponent’s body language is down. Also, the way Jamie [Jemimah Rodrigues, who made 44 not out off 31 balls] The batting was excellent. We needed someone who could finish and it was great that she was there till the last ball.”

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