‘I wanted to prove myself’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 22 Jul 2017 10:49:16


DERBY,

July 21,

(PTI)

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 here.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 semi-final. But in the run-up to the semi-final, 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) and Deepti (Sharma) scored really well 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 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.

 

Harmanpreet bats like Sehwag, aggressive like Kohli: Sister

CHANDIGARH,

July 21,

(PTI)

“SHE bats like Virender Sehwag and is aggressive like Virat Kohli,” said Harmampreet Kaur’s sister Hemjit, summing up the family’s elation at the batter’s hurricane knock that took India to the ICC women’s World Cup final. Celebrations were on at Harmanpreet’s home in Moga in Punjab after her 171-run knock against Australia—one of the greatest ODI knocks in women’s cricket—steered India into the World Cup final with a 36-run victory. Back home in Moga, friends and well-wishers have been dropping in since last night to congratulate the family. Youngsters from the neighbourhood have been dancing to the beats of Punjabi ‘dhol’ while the family has been busy distributing sweets.

“Right from her childhood, she has been playing cricket with boys. Her hunger for runs never dies and this is reflected in her strike rate,” her sister said. “Harman is always positive. On field she always behaves like Virat Kohli and is aggressive like him. However, off-field, she is quite calm and composed. Right from her early days, she treated Virender Sehwag as her batting idol and even bats like him,” she said. About her scintillating knock, Hemjit said, “had it not been a rain-shortened match, she would have scored a double ton and inflicted more misery on the opposition.”

Harmanpreet’s innings yesterday even drew comparisons with Kapil Dev’s historic 175 against Zimbabwe during the 1983 World Cup campaign. “If Harman’s innings is being compared with the legendary Kapil Dev, then it is a great honour for her,” her sister said. For Harmanpreet and her sister, their father—the 52-year-old Harmandar Singh—has been a role model. “Her first coach has been our father. He was a good cricketer, but due to some circumstances he could not reach where he wanted to in the sport. “But today he is able to realise his dream through his daughter,” she said. Harmandar Singh said that Harmanpreet has promised him that India will lift the Cup.

“We are all very proud of her feat. The nation is proud of her,” he said.The cricketer’s mother Satwinder Kaur said her daughter has worked hard to achieve what she has done today.“When girls of her age would be carefree, she would sweat it out practising for hours together. Even at home, she used to practice outside. We are proud of her,” Kaur said. Hemjit, who is an English teacher, said that their parents always supported and encouraged both the girls to achieve their goals in life. “The mindset in the society towards girls is changing and more and more parents are fully backing their daughters to achieve their goals,” Hemjit said.