Indian cricket team skipper Harmanpreet Kaur on Thursday confirmed that an unreliable middle order and the inability of the opening batters to score good runs in the starting overs could severely affect India’s prospects at winning the World Cup. She cautioned her team against making “silly mistakes” and squandering the opportunity to put up a good total on the scoreboard.
The Indian team has reached the semi-final of the ICC Women’s World Cup, and will now face bigger, better teams than they have faced in the past. In Thursday’s match against New Zealand, the batters put up a below-par score of 133. However, a splendid performance by the bowlers ensured that India won the game, as they restricted New Zealand to 129 for 6.
After the match, Kaur said,
“It’s a great feeling when your team performs day in day out. Still, we made the same mistakes after a good first ten overs, we got a good start but couldn’t carry the momentum.”
She applauded Shafali Verma and acknowledged her contribution to the team, saying,
“We can’t make silly mistakes with harder games coming up. Shafali (Verma) is giving us good starts, her initial runs are crucial for us.”
The 16-year old Verma has proven herself to be quite indispensable for India, as she was awarded the Player of the Match after scoring 46 runs off 34 balls. The youngster was elated after her performance. She said,
“Feeling good, very happy with the performance, want to continue doing this. I waited for the loose balls and converted those.”
New Zealand captain applauded the bowling efforts of her team at being able to restrict India to a small score.
“I thought we did a fantastic job to restrict them after Shafali’s start. We adapted to the conditions, adjusted our lines and lengths, tied them down,” she said.
“The way the team nearly closed out the game was fantastic, Amelia Kerr did a fantastic job to nearly win it for us in the end. We certainly can’t dwell on this or sulk about it for too long, we have Bangladesh next.”