Restless India champing at the bit for women's T20 decider
Melbourne — India will have energy to burn when they take on Australia in the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup decider, after their semifinal against England was washed out by rain, captain Harmanpreet Kaur said on Saturday.
Undefeated India head into Sunday’s clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground after an eight-day break since their last group match against Sri Lanka.
With Thursday’s semi-final in Sydney abandoned without a ball bowled, the long rest period did not go down well with all the Indian players, Kaur said.
“No-one wanted to take rest, everyone was so keen, everyone was on the ground and ready to deal with the situation,” Kaur told reporters at the MCG on Saturday.
“We haven’t been outdoors much and we didn’t manage to play the important game against England.
“We were all in touch and doing indoor training, but it doesn’t give you full confidence because the surface is totally different.” First-time finalists India have been a revelation since kicking off their tour six weeks ago with a five-wicket loss to a local selection of ‘B’ players in Sydney, the first match on Australian soil for most of the Indian squad.
But they upset defending champions Australia in the tournament opener at Sydney Showgrounds and have been untroubled since, with 16-year-old sensation Shafali Verma leading from the front with batting firepower.
Opener Verma has scored 161 runs to top India’s batting and leads the tournament with a fierce strike-rate, also of 161.
Kaur backed the stocky, short-haired teenager to deliver again and not be overawed by the occasion.
“She’s very excited, she’s someone who has always enjoyed playing cricket,” Kaur said.
“I’m sure tomorrow again she will have a great time and she will get all the runs that we are expecting from her.” Victory on Sunday would be the Indian women’s greatest cricket triumph, two-and-a-half years after they lost the final of the 2017 one-day World Cup to England at a sold-out Lord’s.
More than 75,000 tickets have been sold for the final and many will have been snapped up by Melbourne’s big Indian community.
“It’s a great feeling ... We’re really (feeling) positive for that,” Kaur said.
“Rather than thinking about what is going to trouble us (on field), it’s only about being there, enjoying the moment and giving our best.”