CWG 2022, IND-W vs AUS-W: Harmanpreet Kaur rues trend of mistakes in big final
The Indian team came close to winning coveted gold on women cricket's CWG debut, but fell short by nine runs after being in a dominant position against mighty Australia.
India captain Harmanpreet Kaur harped on the need to stop making the same mistakes in "title clashes," stating the "mental block" had to be broken in the future after a gold medal slipped out of their hands in the CWG 2022 finals against Australia in Birmingham.
The Indian team came close to winning coveted gold on women cricket's Commonwealth Games (CWG) debut but fell short by nine runs after being in a dominant position against mighty Australia. It was deja vu for Harmanpreet and Co., who had suffered a similar inexplicable batting collapse during the T20 World Cup finals defeat against Australia in 2020 and the 2017 ODI World Cup final in England.
"Every time in big finals, we make the same mistakes again and again (with the bat); that is something we have to improve," Harmanpreet said after the match on Sunday.
"We don't make these mistakes in the league phase or in bilateral. That is blocking our mind somewhere," the skipper added.
India appeared to be on track to win the title with 50 needed off the final six overs and eight wickets in hand, but they lost the final five wickets for just 13 runs due to bad shot choices.
Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet put together a 96-run combination, but both had to hit some errant balls to go back to the dugout.
"I am someone who is always looking for one more batter in the side. Unfortunately, we're working on that. Once we get that, this thing [collapsing] will go away. After losing two crucial wickets, the way Jemi (Jemimah Rodrigues) and I batted was much needed at that time. You need to hold your nerves. We were nearly there," she stated.
"Maybe if Pooja (Vastrakar) or I were around, we could've won the game. But that is part of the game; sometimes, some things you can't control. It is great learning for us," she added.
Although India ended on the losing side in the summit clash, Harmanpreet is "happy and satisfied" with her side's CWG campaign.
"I know we were close to winning gold, but all around our performance was great. This is the first time we got to play in this tournament and we're happy to have won a silver medal. A medal is something people back home will get inspired from and they could start playing cricket. As a team, we want to inspire young girls. Doing well on this platform will motivate a lot of people back home," Harmanpreet added.
All-rounder Tahlia McGrath was a part of the Australian playing XI despite testing positive for COVID-19. "They informed us before the toss. That was something not in our control. The CWG had to take a decision and we were okay with it since she wasn't very ill, so we decided to play. We had to show sportsman spirit. I'm happy we didn't say no to Tahlia, it (missing the final) would've even very hard-hitting for her," she said.
India created a spirited fielding display that helped them restrict Australia 161 for 8. "If you want to beat this Australian team, you have to field well. If you give them easy runs, they can easily take the game away. We discussed it in the team meeting and Radha (Yadav) set the example for us. The effort we put up today is something we wanted to do. I know the last 2-3 overs [in the chase] were not in our favour but throughout the game, the way we played was outstanding to watch," Harmanpreet said.
"We've been working on our fielding for a long time. I'm happy with the way we fielded today. That is something we wanted to do as a team," Harmanpreet concluded.
(With inputs from PTI)