India Women are up and running in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 as they became the first team to qualify for the semi-final after winning their all three matches so far. The latest victory was against New Zealand Women, which ended in a thrilling fashion in the favour of India.
The men in blue confirmed their semi-final spot after winning the match by 4 runs. The match went down to the wire after the momentum completely shifted to New Zealand in the 19th over when they hammered Yadav for 18 runs in that over. The Indian captain Kaur gave the bowl to Pandey and it was all in the hands of the fast bowler after that.
With 10 runs needed in 3 balls, Pandey delivered a yorker for only one run and then went onto bowler another wide yorker in the last ball which hit the pad to give India a four-run victory.
Pandey was highly praised for bowling yorkers in the final over by former India Women’s fast bowler Jhulan Goswami. She feels yorker is the best option to bowl in the last over and Pandey did exactly the same.
“Some days it will work, on some, it will not. That doesn’t mean you won’t go for the best option. She has always had control, is mentally strong and that is why she backed herself. The fact the team is in a good space, having won the first two games, too would have played a part in her decision,” she said.
Goswami also acknowledged the Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur for supporting the medium pacer from Goa.
“In a line-up stacked with spinners, Harmanpreet and the team management backed her and today, she delivered. Shikhu is also the most experienced bowler in the team after Rajeshwari Gayakwad (left-arm spinner) and Poonam Yadav (leg-spinner),” she added.
Goswami and Pandey have shared new ball duties for India since 2015-16 and she opened up about the experience she had and also revealed Pandey used to experiment with a lot of things at the nets.
“She would always try out things at nets, even attempting yorkers with the new ball. Practising yorkers by placing a boot or a bottle is something we have been doing for long. We would then calculate the percentage of how many we could successfully land.”
“And she was never shy of seeking advice. She would always ask, ‘Jhulu Di, am I getting it right and things like, ‘how should I plan net sessions’. She is hard-working, be it at the gym or on the ground. She is a good bowler, an effective batsman, and a safe fielder,” Goswami added.
Pandey had a brilliant tournament so far with the bat. She picked up 3/14 in 3.5 overs and then went onto pick up two wickets against Bangladesh, conceding only 2/14 on a cold, windy Thursday in Melbourne’s Junction Oval. She finished with match-winning figures of 21/1 in the last game against New Zealand and helped her side to become the first time to book the spot for the semis.