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Exclusive: Harmanpreet Kaur asks for blessings from India ahead of World Cup final

first_imgHarmanpreet Kaur hit an unbeaten 115-ball 171 to help India beat Australia in the semi-final of the Women’s World Cup at Derby and set up a final clash with England on Sunday at the Lord’s Cricket Ground.WATCH FULL VIDEOTalking to India Today in an exclusive interview, she said that she and the team need the blessings of the nation to do well and lift the trophy.”Right now we just want blessings from India. This is what we need right now. Other things are uncontrollable. Whatever is in our hand, we will do that,” said Harmanpreet.India, who had earlier lost to Australia in the group stages had lost two wickets and were in a state of bother when Harmanpreet joined captain Mithali Raj in the crease. She walked in and took her time to settle. She struck a 66-run stand with Mithali for the third wicket before the latter departed with the scores on 101/3 at the half-way mark.Once her captain departed, she decided to take matters into her own hands and so she did. Harmanpreet blasted the bowlers all around the park and hit her third One-Day International hundred.Her attack continued and she ended with 20 fours and seven sixes in her 115-ball knock. He knock helped India post a commendable total of 281/4 in the rain curtailed 42-over game.Talking about her blistering innings, she said that she decided to take risks because she felt that the team needed a big total on the board.”When we lost early wickets I just wanted to take the risks and set a good total and that was the only thing in my mind. Whatever was running in my mind clicked and we set a good total,” she said.advertisementThe 28-year-old said that her father is her biggest inspiration and he was the first one she called after winning the game.”After winning the match I switched on my phone and called my dad. He’s my biggest strength. Earlier when I was not getting runs…I was nervous and I called him. He asked me not to worry and wait for my time and when it comes I will do well,” said Harmanpreet.India should be confident because they beat England in the group stages but since then, the hosts have not lost a single game on their way to the final. But the all-rounder said that the Indian team is high on confidence and can beat them again to lift the cup for the first time.”It’s advantage for them (England) because they are playing in their home ground. But our confidence is on a different level and we will give them a good fight and hopefully we will do we well and win the match,” she said.  “The good thing our team right now is that we’re doing well in all the departments. Everybody is contributing in all the departments and this is out wstrongest point at the moment. Hopefully in the final also we will do well and win the match,” she added.Talking about if women’s cricket has got it’s due respect from India, she said that they will do their best and leave the rest in the hands of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and International Cricket Council (ICC).”We will do our best and rest is in the hands of the BCCI, ICC and other people. If you do well, everyone will come and appreciate you. We are here for good things, we are here to play good cricket. But I think we need to focus on what we need right now. We need to play good cricket now, hopefully, we will play and win the match,” said the girl from Punjab.last_img read more

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World Cup 2019: Pakistan wary of Afghanistan spinners, says Haris Sohail

first_imgPakistan have spared no effort in their preparations to take on Afghanistan’s spinners in Saturday’s World Cup clash that could be crucial to their hopes of making the semi-finals, batsman Haris Sohail said on the eve of the contest.Back-to-back wins against South Africa and New Zealand have given the former champions a chance of making the knockouts but they must beat Afghanistan and Bangladesh in their final two games and hope other results go their way to advance.Sohail, who was dropped after their opening defeat by West Indies but returned to the side scoring 89 and 68 in the last two matches, said Pakistan had to keep a close eye on spinners Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman who could hurt their chances.”We’ve kept it very simple. We’re going from match to match. They have quality spinners and we’ve seen a lot of videos and we’ve worked from them. And hopefully we’ll see a good match,” Sohail told reporters.Sohail scored only one run when Pakistan lost their warm-up match to Afghanistan last month, but the 30-year-old said he had no doubts about his ability on the big stage.”From the last series against Australia I have been playing very well, and this time they’ve given me the different role… bat at four or five,” Sohail added.”I’m going with my plan and we have to assess the situation and I will play accordingly.”Meanwhile, Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib said his team will fancy their chances on a Headingley wicket that could assist his spinners.advertisementAfghanistan are looking to finish on a high after losing all their seven games.”If you look at similar conditions, it is certainly in our favour, it’s good for our spinners,” he said.”Sohail played really well in the last two games and Babar Azam too. Rashid is a different spinner, a different bowler to other spinners. So it’s difficult to pick him.”Also Read | Sachin Tendulkar’s take on MS Dhoni strike rate a constructive message: Aakash ChopraAlso Read | World Cup 2019: South Africa dent Sri Lanka’s semi-final hopes with 9-wicket winAlso See:last_img read more

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