Harmanpreet Kaur: India’s T20 series loss to Australia


MUMBAI: World champions Australia might have clinched the five-match T20 International series, but India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur on Saturday counted on the positives and said her side put up a strong fight in the contest.

India threatened to chase down the stiff target of 189 with late fireworks from Harmanpreet and youngster Richa Ghosh but only to fall seven run short in the end.

Australia took an unassailable 3-1 lead heading into the final match of the series here on Tuesday. The series is part of preparation for both the teams going into the T20 World Cup in South Africa in February.
“All the young girls who got an opportunity to play against this Aussie side will take away the experience. We have positives even though we lost the series,” Harmanpreet Kaur, who scored a 30-ball 46, said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

After the skipper got out, India needed 68 from 34 balls when Richa Ghosh (40 not out; 19 balls) and Deepti Sharma (12 not out; 8 balls) revived the chase. They needed 20 runs from the last over but the experienced Megan Schutt held her nerves to seal the win.

“We were in the game throughout. Just one over here and there could have made a difference. If I was there, things could have changed but unfortunately I got out, we still had faith in Richa and Deepti.”
Australia’s Ashleigh Gardner followed up her 27-ball 42 with tidy figures of 4-0-20-2, including a tight 18th over where she conceded just three runs and dismissed Devika Vaidya (32; 26 balls), to turn the match in the visiting side’s favour.
“The 18th over when we got only three runs made the difference,” the Indian captain said.
Harmanpreet said she’s recovering from her Asia Cup injury and so was not bowling.
“I want to take it slow and bat for now, I will definitely come and bowl soon,” she said.

Gardner, who was adjudged player-of-the-match, said it was important to be accurate with her length and mix it up cleverly.

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“It was really crucial what lengths you bowl. I know if you pitch it up, it’s easier to hit straight down the ground. So I was just bowling it into the ground.
“It’s important to be able to mix up your lengths. I know T20 cricket is quite batter friendly and everyone just assumes that when you come to India there will be lot of spin, but in this format you don’t expect much turn,” Gardner said.


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