As soon as the officials declared the semi-final match between India and England have been called-off, the happiness among Indian cricket fans spread like wildfire. India’s unbeaten streak in Group A helped them to top the table, and thus they qualified for the final of the ongoing ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
It’s the first occasion when the Indian women’s team has made it to the finals of the T20 World Cup. England, who won the inaugural season of the tournament held at London in 2009, were upset as expected.
England skipper Heather Knight reacted after the final decision came out and said it’s frustrating for them. She mentioned nothing can be done when nature decides such things. She also expressed that the loss to South Africa cost them badly.
“Frustrating didn’t want the World Cup to end this way, but not much you can do about this. Would have been good to have a reserve day perhaps. That loss to South Africa cost us. Not really, we expected to reach the semi-finals and that we did. Undone by the weather,” said Knight.
“Did feel like we had started to gain momentum in recent games, and we were really ready for this semi-final. Yes, Sarah Glenn and Sophie (Ecclestone) have been great. So has been Mady. Not starting a tournament great has been a concern, so perhaps we can work on that (smiles),” added the English women captain.
Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur also opined that it’s unfortunate when a game loses in front of the weather. She endorsed the idea of having a reserve day for future events. Kaur reflected on the team’s game plan, which said they have to win all matches to make sure nature doesn’t defeat them in the knock-out stage.
“It is unfortunate not to get a game due to the weather. But that’s how the rules go. In future, it would be nice to have a reserve day. From day one, we knew that we have to win all the games because if in case we don’t get any play in the semi-finals, it will be hard for us. Credit to the team, we wanted to win all the games and we did it. Everybody is looking in great touch,” said Kaur.
For the openers, the Indian skipper was hopeful that the pair of Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana would give them a good start in the finals of the mega event like they have been doing throughout the competition.
“Shafali and Smriti are giving us good starts, hoping they do it in the final too. Getting a good start is crucial, because T20 is a short format and it’s tough to come back once under pressure. We’re looking positive in the nets, and looking to give our best,” added Kaur.
For her poor run in the World Cup and Smriti’s bad show, Kaur said we (herself and Smriti) haven’t performed up to the mark, but others are rising to the occasions, which is good to see. For the last battle, Kaur gave her views and said we do not think whom we will face in the finals, as a squad we just want to play our best game.
“Unfortunately, both of us (her and Mandhana) couldn’t produce the results, but it’s good to see others stepping up. It means a lot for us because it’s our first final. As a team, we just want to go out there and play our best cricket. I feel that if we can play our best cricket, we will have a strong chance. We aren’t thinking about whom we want to face and just focusing on our game,” Kaur signed off.