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Sometimes it Works, Sometimes it Doesn't: Harmanpreet Kaur on Decision to Leave Mithali Raj Out

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: November 23, 2018, 2:58 PM IST

India's decision to drop Mithali Raj for the semifinal against England in the ICC Women's World T20 2018 came under the scanner following their eight-wicket defeat on Thursday.

Mithali had batted twice in the tournament and returned scores of 56 and 51. Her experience might have been useful on a slow pitch at the Sir Viv Richards Stadium at North Sound, Antigua, where India crumbled to 112 all out. England chased down with 17 balls remaining.

"Whatever we had decided, we decided for the team. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but no regrets," said India captain Harmanpreet Kaur on Mithali's exclusion.

"Sometimes you have to change your game according to the wicket. England bowled well, they read the wicket really well. Credit goes to them, we've learned a lot from this game. It was not an easy total to chase, and our bowlers bowled really well to stretch the match till the 18th over."

Prior to the loss, India had been on a dream run in the tournament winning all four group matches. Harmanpreet said India can be proud of their campaign, and hoped they'd work on their mental strength in the future.

"I'm proud of the way my girls played through the tournament," she said. "One bad game won't decide if we're a bad team or a good team. This is a learning process for us because we are a young team. I hope we play well in the upcoming tournaments. As we have a young team, we still need to work on our mental strength because we'll be playing more such games in future. If we can work on how to play under pressure, then we can change the way we play these games."

England captain Heather Knight hailed her spinners for choking India in the death overs. India were 89 for 2 at one stage before they collapsed to 112 all out.

"The match got away from us a bit in the power-play, but the spinners bowled really well to bring us back," she said. "Kirstie (Gordon) has been outstanding on her first tour. Sophie (Ecclestone) is a young spinner and has shown a lot of quality over the last year or so.

"I think the conditions have been very tricky in St Lucia and then we've come here. The final is going to be a great game, hopefully we'll have a great atmosphere and a brilliant game of cricket."

Amy Ellen Jones won the Player of the Match award for her unbeaten 47-ball 53 batting at No. 3. She shared an unbroken 92-run stand with Natalie Sciver (52 off 38) that made light work of the chase.

"Obviously just fantastic to get the win. Nat came in and took the pressure off straightaway," she said. "It was a brilliant stuff, big partnership. We basically just be there till the end. She was always telling me to run hard and we just wanted to be there at the end basically.

"Playing at 8pm gives you a lot of thinking time. We were playing high quality spinners. We planned a lot for the spinners and it paid off luckily for us."

First Published: November 23, 2018, 9:09 AM IST

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