India take solace from ‘positives’ after T20 World Cup heartbreak

PTI, Feb 24, 2023, 10:12 AM IST

Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur said Thursday she didn’t know how long it would take to get over the heartbreak of a five-run defeat against Australia in a thrilling Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final in Cape Town.

But she said India could take “a lot of positives” from their campaign in South Africa.

“Whenever we come next time to an ICC (International Cricket Council) tournament we will think about these things,” she said.

India won three of their five matches in South Africa, finishing second behind England in their group before taking on defending champions Australia.

The turning point on Thursday, Kaur said, was when she was run out for 52 in almost bizarre fashion when her bat stuck in the turf when it seemed she was about to complete a second run comfortably.

Told by a reporter that former England captain Nasser Hussain had said on television that her run-out was a “schoolgirl error”, Kaur said: “Sometimes it happens.”

“I have seen in cricket many times when batters are taking a single like that and sometimes the bat is stuck there,” she said.

Kaur said she believed India would have won if she had stayed until the end.

But she said the gap between India and long-dominant Australia was narrowing, adding: “We know we can beat any team when we play good cricket.”

India had five batters who made over 100 runs in the tournament with three — Smriti Mandhana (151 runs), Richa Ghosh (136) and Jemimah Rodrigues (135) — scoring at a strike rate of more than 130.

Swing bowler Renuka Thakur was the team’s most successful bowler, taking seven wickets at an average of 16.00, while off-spinner Deepti Sharma took six wickets at 22.00.

But Indian bowlers were only able to capture a total of 21 wickets in five matches.

Fielding was inconsistent and there were expensive errors in the semi-final which allowed let-offs for Australia’s three top scorers, Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning and Ash Gardner.

Kaur said India needed to learn from Australia’s example in the field.

“They always field well. From our side, we made some mistakes. We just have to learn from our mistakes.”

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