Bengaluru: Indian women's cricket team produced a clinical performance as they thrashed their Bangladeshi counterparts by 72 runs in the opening group league fixture of the ICC World T20 on Tuesday. Harmanpreet Kaur was named Player-of-the-Match for her crucial 40 off 29 balls.
With the scoreboard meandering at 95 for 2 in the 15th over, Harmanpreet injected some adrenaline into the Indian innings with two sixes. She followed it up with two consecutive boundaries in the 18th off leg-spinner Rumana Ahmed — one hammered over the mid-wicket and another one clobbered between the deep mid-wicket and long-on.
The hard-hitting batter spoke to BCCI.tv after the victory and the confidence that the Indian team is riding on was evident in her comments.
The batting, for instance, is no longer dependent on captain Mithali Raj and in opener VR Vanitha, India have found a good top-order batter who is ready to take up any challenge, she said.
"Of course good openers including Vanitha has helped me play freely. In the last two years, we did not have good openers and we all depended on Mithali (Raj), but things have changed for now. If Mithali doesn't click in some matches, we take up the challenge and see the team through," Kaur told reporters during a post-match session here at Chinnaswamy stadium.
On the positive strategy adopted by the Indians after losing two quick wickets under 10 overs, Kaur said the captain gave her time to settle down while she went after the bowling on a turning pitch.
"Mithali had been there for some time when I walked in. She told me to first settle down and said she would go for the big hits. This was the strategy because the wicket was turning unlike it didn't the last time we played here," she said.
"When I went in to bat, my plan was simple – keep looking for boundaries and look to score 8-9 runs per over consistently."
Kaur said she enjoyed hitting the sixes since both came at a very crucial time for her team when they were looking to raise the scoring rate.
"By the time Veda joined me, I had got my eye in and she is also a big hitter of the ball. So, I knew that if the two of us played 20 overs, we would be able to post a big total," she said.
Asked whether the match was won by India in first 10 overs when the visiting side were struggling at 35 for three, Kaur said: "It is a T20 game. We were trying to look at full 20 overs, and then celebrate. It is the T20 game, and we cannot take anybody easily."
With inputs from agencies