IND vs ENG: 'It is part of the game, and it is an ICC rule' - Harmanpreet on Deepti 'Mankading' Charlie
India has whitewashed England 3-0 in the ODI series. The final ODI on Saturday saw Deepti Sharma 'Mankading' Charlie Dean, which again stirred controversy. However, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur backed the dismissal.
India women's team skipper Harmanpreet Kaur has said that her side had committed "no crime" after completing the first-ever whitewash in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) on English soil with a permitted yet questionable run-out. Harmanpreet was responding to questions on the run-out inflicted by her off-spinner Deepti Sharma at the non-striker's end to grab the vital wicket of Charlie Dean. The batter had backed up too far, resulting in her dismissal, thus ending England's innings 17 runs short of the target of 170 in the third and final ODI at the historic Lord's Cricket Ground in London on Saturday. Batting at number nine, Dean staged a theatrical comeback with a fighting 47, sharing a 35-run stand with Freya Davies, putting England within reach of the target after slipping to 65/7 and then 103/8.
"Today, whatever we have done, I don't think it was any crime. It is part of the game, an ICC rule, and I think we need to back our players. I'm delighted she was aware of that, and I think the batter is taking too long a stride. I don't think she has done something wrong, and we need to back her," Harmanpreet told reporters during the post-match press conference.
Hamanpreet was named the Player of the Series, but she disagreed that the dispute took the gloss off the side's legendary pacer Jhulan Goswami's adieu match. "I don't think so because, as I said, I don't think we have done any crime. I don't think we need to talk about that because the first nine wickets were also crucial, and everybody worked so hard. It was a chasable total, but the way our bowlers bowled and the whole team put in the effort, there were many things to celebrate other than just talking about the last wicket," she guessed.
Harmanpreet was annoyed with the line of questioning during the presentation ceremony when the presenter kept querying on the run-out instead of the team's historic series conquest, which arrived on the back of a fantastic all-round exhibition. "Well, to be honest, I thought you would ask about the nine wickets, which was not easy to take. It's part of the game. I don't think we have done something new. It shows your awareness, what batters are doing," Harmanpreet said.
"I will back my players. She hasn't done something outside the rules. After the first game we discussed, we wanted to do well. We have that much potential. We want to continue this kind of cricket," added Harmanpreet. At the post-match presser, she also pointed out how India was sorrowed when Smriti Mandhana was dismissed in the third game of its Twenty20 International (T20I) series, with England winning 2-1, despite the ball taking a bounce off the ground after Sophie Ecclestone attempted the catch.
Very recently, only the International Cricket Council (ICC) repeated that the dismissal was entirely fair, moving it from unfair play to run-out. The MCC Law 41.16.1 says: "If the non-striker is out of his/her ground at any time from the moment the ball comes into play until the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the non-striker is liable to be run out."
Weighing in on the run-out, England's senior seamer Kate Cross, who grasped 4/26, said this dismissal would consistently create divided opinions. "I think it's a dismissal that will always divide opinion. That's all that's ever going to get said about it: some people are going to like it, some people aren't," she imagined.
"Deepti chose to dismiss Charlie Dean that way. I'm more disappointed for Charlie Dean that she couldn't get a fifty at Lord's today because she looked set to do that. If we're looking at the real positives, then maybe that's the only way they could have got Deano out today," added Cross.
"Losing any game of cricket is disappointing. Ultimately, it's Deepti's choice how she goes about that, and we've lost that game of cricket. What we did say in the dressing room was that we didn't lose that game of cricket because of that last wicket," Cross concluded. After an initial show of anger when she threw her bat to the ground, a teary-eyed Dean composed herself and shook hands with the Indians.
(With inputs from PTI)