India captain Harmanpreet Kaur defended her team’s tactics to be aggressive while batting in the semi-final against England despite the slow nature of the wicket in Antigua.
Batting first, India collapsed to 112 in 19.2 overs with opener Smriti Mandhana top-scoring with 33 off 24 balls. India lost their last eight wickets for 23 runs. England went on to win the match by eight wickets to book a spot in the final.
Excerpts from Harmanpreet’s press conference after the match:
On whether 112 was enough:
Definitely it was not enough, but we could’ve won the game if we had bowled better. But it’s part of the game. I think if we had 140, 150 then definitely we would have won the game.
On where India’s defence faltered:
Well, the total was not enough. I think the bowlers were doing well, but just because the total was not enough, I cannot say a bowler did not bowl well enough. I think everyone was bowling well, but just because of the total we were not able to make it.
On how the wicket behaved:
I think [in] the first innings there was turn in the wicket and their bowlers were finding turn. In the second innings I think the dew factor was there. Just because of the dew, the ball did not turn much. But there’s no excuse because we wanted to bat first. We didn’t set a decent total on the board.
On India’s plan to play attacking cricket despite the nature of the pitch:
If you see throughout the tournament our approach was attack, so that is the reason we wanted to attack. I think sometimes it works in your way and sometimes it doesn’t. Our plan was to attack. The wicket here [in Antigua] was a bit different from Guyana but that’s part of the game.
If you are attacking and if you are able to have some two or three good partnerships, we could have set a good total. Sometimes if you attack you get runs. Sometimes you lose wickets. It’s part of the game.
On decision to drop Mithali Raj:
We were going with a winning combination. We did really well against Australia. And that is the reason we just wanted to go with the same combination.
On India’s batting in the tournament:
We are building a team and Jemimah [Rodrigues] did really well in this tournament. When you’re building the team, you need some more young players to come and perform. I think we are a quite young team and they’re doing well. Jemi, she’s very mature. She adapts to the international level very early and some other players, they may take some time and it’s a learning process. If we get some more young players who take the responsibility, that will be great for us.
On main takeaways for India from this tournament:
HARMANPREET KAUR: I think the way we play, the aggressive cricket. Earlier we were very different, we were a defensive team and now we are attacking.
On whether India learned from the 2017 World Cup final:
I cannot compare 2017 to today’s match because if you see throughout the tournament we batted really well. We were taking the responsibility and we were having good partnerships. It’s part of the game sometimes to collapse. I think it’s just a matter of how you accept the situation at that time.