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Women's Cricket

'India is ready for Australian challenge'- Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur

Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur believes that India is ready for the likely Australian challenge in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup.

Indian women
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Indian women's cricket team (File Photo: ICC)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 21 Feb 2023 6:35 AM GMT

India defeated Ireland by 5 runs (by DLS method) in a rain-affected game to make it to the semi-finals of the Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa.

With India standing second on the points table of Group B, India may play Australi in the semi-finals unless Pakistan beats England by a massive margin in the last group game.

Talking about the possible Australian challenge in the semi-finals, Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur said," India had gained confidence from having played Australia in a series in India last season"

"The brand of cricket we played (against Australia) gave us a lot of confidence," added Kaur in the post-match press conference. "We have a fair idea of how to go about the next game and will make our plans accordingly."

While Smriti Mandhana produced a career-best batting performance of 87 runs off 56 balls, the form of another opener Shafali Verma is a worry for India but she remains a key player for India as per Harmanpreet Kaur.

"We have always given Shafali the liberty to go and express herself. We have not put any pressure on her. She has played here, she knows the conditions well. Sometimes things are not in your control. We have always backed her and will continue doing so," the Indian captain said about Shafali.

Harman's form in this tournament has been a sign of worry. Addressing the same, she said, "I haven't batted the way I wanted. Today it was a great catch. These things happen when you have a long career."

Harmanpreet also conceded that India's inability to rotate strike is a "worrying" sign, adding that the team has been discussing how to address its long-standing dot-ball issue ahead of the Women's T20 World Cup semifinals.

"Dot balls are something which (are) already worrying us," Kaur said at the post-match press conference. "In the next game, we would love to see some improvement in that area also. Against England, we played too many dot balls. Things like that we have already been discussing in team meetings. "But sometimes, when the other team is bowling too well, at the end of the day, these wickets are something when you score 150, that's a par score for you," said Harmanpreet.

If India finishes second in Group B, they will take on Australia in the semi-finals on 23rd February at Newlands, Cape Town.

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