Harmanpreet Kaur expressed her opinion that the upcoming semi-final match between India and Australia carries equal pressure for both teams.
During India’s final group match against Ireland on February 20, Harmanpreet Kaur, the Indian captain, created history by making her 150th T20I appearance, becoming the first player in T20I history to achieve this feat and surpassing India’s men’s captain Rohit Sharma.
With her remarkable impact on the rest of the team, the 33-year-old player from Moga has become one of the most significant figures in the history of Indian women’s cricket. Harmanpreet’s powerful hitting has become a revered element of the modern Indian women’s cricket culture. After achieving the milestone of 150 appearances, the Indian skipper was visibly emotional as she looked back on her career.
Harmanpreet Kaur expressed at the post-match press conference that playing 150 T20 cricket matches is a significant accomplishment for her as it is something she never imagined she would achieve. She stated, “I never thought that one day I would play the most T20 cricket matches.”
Harmanpreet shared that she received videos and montages prior to her 150th appearance, which she found heart-warming. She emphasized that the support she received will always serve as a motivation for her.
Harmanpreet Kaur mentioned that receiving emotional videos from her team ahead of her 150th appearance was heart-warming. She further stated that these videos showed how important she was to her team and how she supported them through their ups and downs. According to her, such gestures always serve as a source of motivation. Before the match against Ireland, when she watched the video, she felt appreciated for the hard work she has been doing for a long time.
Harmanpreet expressed that the team’s emotional videos and montages, wishing her luck and appreciating her support through their ups and downs, were heartwarming and always motivating. She stated that the video showed the team’s trust in each player and highlighted her importance in their careers. Harmanpreet found the team’s gesture very encouraging and believes that the other experienced players should also appreciate young players whenever they get a chance.
Harmanpreet Kaur emphasized the significance of appreciating and encouraging young players, stating that it is essential for any player. She expressed her gratitude towards her team for the emotional videos they sent her ahead of her 150th appearance and shared that their support and appreciation will always serve as motivation for her. She was moved by the time and effort her teammates put into making the videos, and she believes it is important for other players to do the same for young players whenever they get the chance.
Australia’s match against India.
After their victory over Ireland, India faces a daunting challenge as they are most likely to face the undefeated defending champions, Australia.
Harmanpreet commented on the upcoming match against Australia, saying, “There will be equal pressure because our team has been performing well for many years, and Australia has been unbeaten and in good form in this tournament. Our objective is to play good cricket when we face them.”
Harmanpreet emphasized the importance of playing good cricket against a team like Australia as it provides an opportunity to learn and improve as players and as a team. She believes that the key to winning is to perform well in every moment and maintain a positive mindset. According to her, playing with freedom and confidence is crucial to winning big matches, and therefore, the team’s main focus will be to back themselves and stay in a good mental state.
What is an important aspect that the Indian batters would concentrate on? It would be minimizing the number of dot balls and actively trying to score runs from them.
“We are already concerned about the dot balls, and we would like to see some improvement in that area in the next game,” expressed the speaker.
Is India worried about Shafali Verma’s inconsistency?
Shafali Verma, India’s opening batter, has not been performing as consistently as the team would have desired. Despite the mounting pressure on the young player, the Indian captain confirmed that Shafali has been given the freedom to play her natural game and express herself.
Harmanpreet said that the team has always allowed Shafali the freedom to express herself in her own way. They have not put too much pressure on her as they understand that she is a free-spirited player who prefers to let her cricket do the talking. Additionally, Shafali is well-versed with the conditions as the team has spent a lot of time practicing and playing in those conditions.
Prior to the ongoing event, Shafali Verma captained the Indian U-19 team in these conditions and also created history by becoming the first Indian woman captain to win an ICC event. Despite her inconsistent form, Harmanpreet acknowledged that the young opener has shown glimpses of her ability, and emphasized that the team will continue to support her because of the distinctive style of play she brings to the team.
“She has experience playing in these conditions, having led the Indian U-19 side before and even won an ICC event as the first Indian women’s captain. We understand the significance of her contributions, as whenever she performs well, it makes a big difference for us. While it’s not always easy to control the outcomes, we believe in fighting for every ball. She has shown moments of excellence, and we will continue to support her unique playing style, which brings an added dimension to the team.”