Speaking in the post-match presentation ceremony after India’s 34-run win over New Zealand in their opening match of the ICC World T20 tournament, Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur lauded coach Ramesh Powar for changing the mindset of the team.
“From the time he arrived, our mindset changed and that's a plus point,” Kaur said. “He has a lot of experience and that is helping us. We are really happy to have him in the team.”
Kaur starred in the team’s victory, and was declared the player of the match for her knock of 103 off just 51 balls in the first innings to take India to a total of 194/5. In the process, she became the first Indian to score a century in the T20 format. She was able supported by 18-year-old, who scored an equally efficient 45-ball 59 with the duo carving what turned out to be a match-winning 134-run stand for the fourth wicket. Kaur was effusive in praise of her junior partner.
“Jemimah played really well. When you are hitting well, you need someone who can rotate the strike. Credit goes to her, she is very mature.
“She likes to express herself and never takes any pressure. We need young players who are excited to play international cricket."
What was even more mind-boggling about Kaur's knock was that she scored all those runs battling severe stomach cramps for which she had to be attended to by the physio on multiple occasion. But, that did not stop her from smoking 7 fours and 8 sixes, in fact, it gave her clarity to go for the big hits even more.
“Yesterday I was having little bit back problem,” Kaur said after the match. “In the morning, I was not feeling well, when I came to the ground I was feeling a little low and getting some cramps.”
“When initially I was running twos, I got a little cramp, after that the physio gave me medicine, and a little bit it settled down,” she said. “Then I thought instead of running too much, if I could I get more big shots … because you run too much, you get more cramps. Then I told Jemi (Jemimah Rodrigues), ‘if you give the strike to me, I can go for more big shots’.”
Despite the big win, Kaur said that her side was not getting complacent insisting there were lot of areas to still work on.
"We are excited, but it is just the beginning. There is still a long way to go. There are a lot of areas we need to improve in, as a team, we need to improve a lot," she said.
On the other hand, New Zealand captain Amy Satterthwaite admitted that her team was outplayed on the day, and lamented not being able to execute their own plans. New Zealand could only manage 160/9 in the second innings.
“We had seen their key players in the competitions around the world, so we know their team pretty well. To be honest, we got outplayed today,” Satterthwaite said.
“We’re really disappointed with how we failed to execute plans today. It was a fantastic innings by Harman, but we need to have answers to counter something like that.
“I told them (the team) that we needed to be clear on our plan when we went out to chase the total. Actually I'm really proud of the way the girls played today, they showed a lot of confidence and it'll be good for us going forward.”
India will now take on Pakistan in their second match of the tournament on Sunday, November 11 while New Zealand play Australia on Tuesday, November 13.