“She has been constantly asking me for one over to bowl” – Harmanpreet Kaur

In the 2nd ODI of the India – South Africa multi-format series, Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and vice-captain Smriti Mandhana both scored their 6th and 7th ODI centuries, respectively. Their impressive 171-run partnership was crucial in helping India post a formidable total of 325 runs. This effort contributed to India’s narrow 4-run victory, securing the series win.

She has been constantly asking me for one over to bowl - Harmanpreet Kaur
She has been constantly asking me for one over to bowl – Harmanpreet Kaur

In a post-match conversation between the two centurions Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana, skipper Harmanpreet starts by introducing Smriti as ‘the bowler of the day’ and asked her about her favorite moment in the game, whether it was scoring a century or taking her maiden international wicket.

Smriti playfully turns the question back to Harmanpreet, who reveals that she enjoyed Smriti’s bowling more. Harmanpreet explains that during their last batting camp, Smriti persistently asked for an over to bowl, and when she finally got the chance and took a wicket, it was a memorable moment for the entire team.

Harmanpreet mentioned, “She has been constantly asking me for one over to bowl, saying if she gets the wicket she will run around the ground. However, she got tired and ran only half of it.”

Smriti responds that while hundreds are indeed special, her favorite moment was taking her first international wicket. She explains that she celebrated Harmanpreet’s century more than her own but felt immense joy and surprise at getting her first wicket, especially with the enthusiastic celebration from the team. Smriti humorously adds that she wants to thank Suné Luus for being her first international wicket.

Quoting, Smriti, “I celebrated your hundred more than mine for sure but the way I got my first wicket and the way everyone celebrated the unexpected wicket which I got, so firstly I would like to thank Sunne Luus as she is my first international wicket.”

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Harmanpreet credits Smriti’s hard work and the seriousness with which they approach bowling in their camps. She explains that with Smriti stepping up as a bowler when the team was short of a medium pacer, her contribution was crucial in a tight match situation.

Smriti adds that Harmanpreet had been pushing her to practice bowling in their sessions, which paid off. Harmanpreet reinforces the importance of practice in building trust in one’s skills. She recalls how Smriti’s successful practice sessions gave her the confidence to let Smriti bowl in the match.

Smriti asks Harmanpreet, “But the first ball was on the spot, tell about that.”

The conversation then shifts to the crowd’s excitement about Smriti’s bowling, with Smriti playfully chanting “Ek do ek do, Smriti ko bowling do,” indicating that the fans are eager to see her bowl more often. Harmanpreet jokes about giving Smriti another opportunity to bowl if she gets the chance.

Finally, Smriti highlights the significance of the series win and the hard work behind the scenes that often goes unnoticed. She asks Harmanpreet about her crucial one-hour batting stretch. Harmanpreet responds by emphasizing the confidence gained from practice and the importance of implementing practiced skills in the match, leading to a calculated and confident performance.

Harmanpreet mentioned, “Ya, I think when I came and batted for an hour that gave me confidence because in the last game as well, I was in a good touch but unfortunate I couldn’t continue. But I think today it was all about choosing the right ball & taking calculated risks.”

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(Quotes sourced from BCCI.tv)

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