Harmanpreet Kaur was a disappointed captain as the Indian team once again failed to cross the final hurdle in a global event.
On Sunday (August August 7), the Indian women’s cricket team lost the Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2022 final to Australia at Edgbaston. As a result, the opportunity to wear a gold medal slipped out of their hands.
Speaking after the game, skipper Harmanpreet stressed on the need to stop repeating same mistakes in big games, saying the "mental block" has to be broken going forward.
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"Every time in big finals, we make the same mistakes again and again (with the bat), that is something we have to improve," Harmanpreet said.
"We don't do these mistakes in the league phase or in bilateral. That is blocking our mind somewhere," she added.
Chasing 162 to win, India found itself in all sorts of trouble at 22/2 in the third over. Harmanpreet’s sublime batting not just steadied the team’s ship but took it to a strong position. Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues added 96 for the third wicket.
The captain eventually went on to score 65 off just 43 balls. The team was cruising towards victory when the match turned on its head after the dismissal of Rodrigues in the 15th over and Harmanpreet in the next.
The Women in Blue collapsed from 118/2 to 152/10, which meant that the Meg Lanning-led Australian side emerged victorious by just 9 runs.
"I am someone who is always looking for one more batter in the side. Unfortunately, we're working on that. Once we get that, this thing [collapsing] will go away."
"After losing two crucial wickets, the way Jemi (Jemimah Rodrigues) and I batted was much needed at that time. You need to hold your nerves. We were nearly there."
"Maybe if Pooja (Vastrakar) or I were around, we could've won the game. But that is part of the game; sometimes some things you can't control. It is great learning for us," she remarked.
Although India were at the receiving end in the title clash, Harmanpreet is "happy and satisfied" with her side's CWG campaign.
"I know we were close to winning gold, but all around our performance was great. This is the first time we got to play in this tournament and we're happy to have won a silver medal.
"A medal is something people back home will get inspired from and they could start playing cricket. As a team, we want to inspire young girls. Doing well on this platform will motivate a lot of people back home."
India put up a spirited fielding display that helped them restrict Australia to 161/8.
"If you want to beat this Australian team, you have to field well. If you give them easy runs, they can easily take the game away. We discussed it in the team meeting and Radha (Yadav) set the example for us.
"The effort we put up today is something we wanted to do. I know the last 2-3 overs [in the chase] were not in our favour but throughout the game, the way we played was outstanding to watch."
"We've been working on our fielding for a long time. I'm happy with the way we fielded today. That is something we wanted to do as a team," Harmanpreet said.
(With PTI inputs)