Harmanpreet Kaur shared reason why India fell short of 9 Runs to miss Gold Medal

The debut edition of women’s cricket at the Commonwealth Games saw India lose to Australia in a thrilling contest. India chasing a competitive total, dominated for 15 overs but just couldn’t close the game as final minutes chaos saw India have a quick collapse. Nevertheless, the intent and commitment from India shown throughout the tournament should have us all proud of the unit.

 

Indian Women's Cricket Team member received Silver Medal. PC: Getty Images
Indian Women’s Cricket Team member received Silver Medal. PC: Getty Images

 

India chasing 161 for victory were strongly placed at the 14-over mark on 112-2. Megan Schutt came on to the bowl in the 15th over which saw her break the dangerous 71-ball-96 run partnership and handed Australia a crucial breakthrough as Jemimah on 33(33) walked back. India were 118/3, requiring 44 off 30 before Australia bagged 7/34 in 29 balls to clinch the best place on the podium and hand India a teasing 9-run defeat. Skipper, Harmanpreet Kaur quickly had to gather her thoughts as she had a media interaction just after the medal ceremony.

As quoted by Shashank Kishore for ESPN Cricinfo, Harmanpreet Kaur in the presser said, “I’m happy and satisfied with the way we played throughout. 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 by, 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.”

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Before the final show, Tahlia McGrath despite having tested positive for Covid made her way into the Australian XI and was well within the rules in doing so. India having extended their support to Tahlia McGrath saw the team win hearts. Harmanpreet Kaur when was asked about the same, said, “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 (Tahlia McGrath) 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 have been very hard-hitting for her.”

India by far had one of their best fielding outings during the final and Harmanpreet Kaur on the same quoted, “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 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. We’ve been working on our fielding for a long time. I’m happy with the way we fielded today.”

The quick collapse which led to India’s defeat saw Harmanpreet Kaur quote, “After losing two crucial wickets, the way Jemi and I batted was much needed at that time. You need to hold your nerves. We were nearly there. 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.

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“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. Every time in big finals, we make the same mistakes again and again (with the bat), that is something we have to improve. We don’t do these mistakes in the league phase or in bilateral. That is blocking our mind somewhere.”

When asked to sum up where India as a side are, Harmanpreet Kaur said, “Yes definitely, I know we could’ve easily won gold, but something is better than nothing, at least we got silver. We deserved it for so much hard work. If not gold, we’re satisfied with what we got today. (As a team) we are on the right track, we just need to keep working hard.”

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