North Sound (Antigua): The decision to drop a player of Mithali Raj’s calibre backfired during India’s humiliating semi-final loss to England in the World T20 but skipper Harmanpreet Kaur said that she has “no regrets” as it was decision taken keeping team’s interests in mind. Raj recently became the cricketer to score maximum T20I runs ever by an Indian.
“Whatever we decided, we decided for the team. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, no regrets,” Harmanpreet said at the post-match presentation at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
“I’m proud of the way my girls played through the tournament. This is a learning for us because we are a young team.”
On a pitch that wasn’t the easiest to bat on, the English duo of Natalie Sciver (54 not out) and Amy Ellen Jones (51 not out) displayed great technique to deny India any chances of a comeback after the spinners removed the openers within the first five overs of the England chase.
Praising World No.2 England’s approach in the semi-final, the India skipper said: “Sometimes you have to change your game according to the wicket. England bowled really well, read the wicket really well.
“It was not an easy total to chase, and our bowlers bowled really well. We stretched the match till the 18th over.”
Harmanpreet further maintained that this World T20 was another learning curve for her young side and pointed out the need to focus on mental strength.
“I think we are a young team and we still need to work on our mental strength. If we can work on how to play under pressure, that will change how we play these games,” she said.
England captain Heather Knight said that she was worried during Powerplay overs when Smriti Mandhana had gone on the offensive but lauded her spinner Kirstie Gordon and Sophie Ecclestone for bringing them back in the game.
“The match got away from us a bit in the Powerplay but the spinners bowled really well to bring us back. Kirstie has been outstanding on her first tour. Sophie, young spinner as well, has shown a lot of quality over the last year or so.”
Knight said that she wasn’t concerned about the form of her top players like Tammy Beaumont and Dani Wyatt because conditions for batting was challenging in St Lucia.
“I think the conditions have been very tricky in St Lucia and when we’ve come here, No worries at all about (the form of Beaumont and Wyatt). The final (against Australia) is going to be a great game, hopefully we’ll have a great atmosphere and a brilliant game of cricket.”
(With inputs from agencies)