Melbourne: The Indian women's team captain Harmanpreet Kaur on Friday insisted that her side will take its final group game of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup against Sri Lanka seriously before shifting focus on to the semifinals.
India became the first side to sail through to the knockout stages after securing wins against hosts and defending champions Australia, as well as Bangladesh and New Zealand, in the first week of the tournament.
"I know we have qualified, but the next game is still crucial for us. We will be taking Sri Lanka very seriously," Harmanpreet said.
"They've been doing well. I know they haven't won a game but they were almost there on both occasions. We will be taking it very seriously before we start thinking about the semi-finals," she added
Victory over Sri Lanka on Saturday would see India top Group A and head into the semifinals high on confidence.
"We try to take every wicket in all of our games. Every wicket is an important one at this level. We just have to try and stick to our plan, especially to get out the likes of Chamari Athapaththu early. That will be crucial." Harmanpreet said.
Sri Lanka have arguably had the toughest start to the tournament having lost to New Zealand and Australia in their opening two games, and now in-form India awaits then in their third Group A fixture.
But Sri Lanka gave Australia a mighty scare in Perth by reducing the hosts to 10 for three in the early overs.
Sri Lanka veteran Shashikala Siriwardena — who will retire from all formats of the game at the end of the tournament after 17 years — is proud of her team's fight so far, but admitted that it would be a big disappointment if they fail to register a win in her farewell tournament.
"We want to take victories in our next two games. We did well against Australia and New Zealand, but we couldn't turn it into a win," Siriwardena said.
"We have to do what we have done well in previous matches against India but at the same time we need to correct the mistakes we are repeating, especially in fielding," she added.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
The Sri Lankan Police on Friday ended its investigation into allegations that the country's 2011 World Cup final loss to India was fixed, saying it found no evidence after recording statements of stalwarts like Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.
Following New Zealand's 0-3 defeat at the hands of Australia earlier this year, rumours surfaced that Stead preferred left-handed batsman Tom Latham for Test captaincy over incumbent Williamson.
Sophie Devine took over the White Ferns captaincy in an interim capacity last season, and her strong leadership led to her being offered the captaincy on a full-time basis.