Harmanpreet Kaur praised her players’ fortitude for the short transition from balmy England to sweltering Sylhet, reaching their stride after just one training session. India will face Sri Lanka in the Women’s Asia Cup final on Saturday.
India defeated Sri Lanka by 41 runs in their round-robin matchup between the two sides. Sri Lanka ended third with 8 points, while India finished first after winning five of their six games. An unstoppable Indian squad would try to reclaim its dominance and pursue an unheard-of seventh Asia Cup victory.
Conditions And Wickets Totally Different Here: Harmanpreet Kaur
“Conditions and wickets were totally different [in England], and it is totally different here. We only got one day to change our gears,” Harmanpreet Kaur said.
“In England, we were getting good batting tracks and ball was swinging. But when we got here, we had to change our plans. But the good thing was that all the players took the challenge.
“We got only one [warm-up] session before the game, so it shows how strong we are as a team. The character is building. It is something I really appreciated in the team meetings also. We are enjoying our cricket.”
We Don’t Want To Depend On One Or Two Players: Harmanpreet Kaur
They made several changes to the squad composition along the road, according to Harmanpreet Kaur, who explained that the goal was to experiment in order to identify fresh match-winners.
“When we came to Bangladesh, we discussed that we need to look for a different match-winner,” she said.
“We don’t want to depend on one or two players. We want every player to step up, and win the game for the team. I am happy that we are getting match-winners in every game.”
Though Sri Lanka finished third in the league stage, their victories over Bangladesh and Pakistan in the semifinals gave them a reason to be feared.
“We saw a lot of positives in their side, especially they don’t give up till the last ball,” Harmanpreet said. “Their fight is outstanding to watch. Whenever any team plays good cricket, you can always learn from them.”
“We tried a lot of combinations. The World Cup [in South Africa next year] is around the corner. It was a great platform to test, and we are happy with how we used this opportunity”
India Favorite To Win Asia Cup: Chamari Athapaththu
Harmanpreet’s seatmate, Chamari Athapaththu, reciprocated the compliment: “India is the favourite team in the tournament. They have good players. But as a captain, I don’t want to feel any pressure for tomorrow’s game.
Whoever plays good cricket and makes fewer mistakes on that particular day, the team can win. We will stick to our plans.”
Plans that succeeded in beating Pakistan by one run in the semifinal to get to the Asia Cup final for the first time since 2008.
“It was a crucial game for us since we haven’t played the Asia Cup final for 14 years. We got the opportunity tomorrow,” Athapaththu said. “We want to play good cricket because all the media and fans [back home] will be watching.”
Asia Cup A Platform To Test Your Limitations: Harmanpreet Kaur
The Asia Cup included Thailand, Malaysia, and the UAE in addition to the major regional teams. In one of the biggest victories in their cricket history, Thailand was particularly dazzled by defeating Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan.
“This tournament is a great opportunity for all of us, especially teams like UAE, Malaysia and Thailand. It was outstanding to watch Thailand play in this tournament,” Harmanpreet Kaur said.
“This is a platform where you can test your limitations, what type of cricket you want to play in the future.
“We were always testing ourselves, putting ourselves under pressure, to see how we can go about it. We tried a lot of combinations. The World Cup [in South Africa next year] is around the corner. It was a great platform to test, and we are happy with how we used this opportunity.”