Derby: Harmanpreet Kaur did not get enough batting time in the run up to her blistering knock in the ICC Women's World Cup semi-final and the Indian power-hitter said she wanted to prove her worth when the opportunity arrived.
Harmanpreet produced inarguably one of the greatest ODI knocks ever in women's cricket on Thursday to power India into the final of the World Cup with a stunning 36-run win over defending champions Australia.
With India in a spot of bother at 35-2 in the 10th over, Harmanpreet came in and mauled the Australian bowlers with her brutal force to remain unbeaten on 171 off 115 balls and power India to 281-4 in the rain-hit semifinal.
But in the run-up to the semifinal, Harmanpreet struggled to get time in the middle and had faced only 91 balls in five innings.
"I didn't get a chance to bat in the whole tournament," she said after her scintillating knock.
"Today when I got the chance I just wanted to utilise this opportunity, because today was the day where I wanted to prove myself and thanks to God, whatever I was thinking, (worked).
"Mithali (Raj), Deepti (Sharma) and Veda (Krishnamurthy) scored really well," she added complementing her batting companions.
Such was Harmanpreet's brutal assault that she was at one stage batting on 41 off 60 balls before going berserk.
The 28-year old cricketer hailing from Moga in Punjab had earned acclaim in the T20 circuit, becoming the first Indian to be picked for the Big Bash League and the Kia Super League.
Talking about her marauding knock, Harmanpreet, who idolises Virender Sehwag, said, "Today's plan was just to watch the ball, hit it hard and this is what I was doing."
"Some areas they were bowling well but I just wanted to hit and rotate the strike."
Harmanpreet was involved in a 137-run stand for the fourth wicket with Deepti Sharma (25), the only Indian woman with a higher score in ODIs.
"I just told her (Deepti) to rotate the strike, you don't have to take the pressure. I was hitting the ball well and I told her to give me the strike and I will take the responsibility and she did a great job," Harmanpreet said.