Skipper Harmanpreet Hails Mithali, Lauds 17-year-old Jemimah
India defeated South Africa by 54 runs in the fifth T20I at Newlands, Cape Town.
After Mithali Raj led the side to a 2-1 series win in the ODIs, it was Harmanpreet Kaur's turn to lift the trophy as they become the first cricket team to win two formats in the Rainbow nation.
Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur said they task was cut out once they had landed in South Africa because they knew exactly what to do.
“When we arrived in South Africa we knew that this would be a very tough series. As a team we had decided that we would play good cricket and our focus was on what we were going to do and what we need to do to improve. Our focus was on what we practiced in India and play good brand of cricket,” said Harmanpreet.
When asked about 17-year-old Jemimah, who added 98 runs for the second wicket along with Mithali Raj, the skipper lauded the effort of the young cricketer and said,
“She (Jemimah) has done really good in the domestic level. The domestic level gave her lot of confidence to do well in the international level. She is very young, and we know that she can do better for Indian team also. We do need young players in the team so that we can build a team for the T20 world cup. For a 50-over game our team is quite settled now but for T20 we still working on it that is why we are giving chance to young girls who can come and play.”
“When we came to the ground today (Saturday) we wanted to bowl first but unfortunately the toss is not in our hand. So, when we were put to bat we decided that to send her if we lost an early wicket. In the last when she had come to bat we had lost two early wickets and there was lot of pressure on her, so we decided to give her, a better chance to perform and she executed it very well,” added Harmanpreet.
Harmanpreet only had word of praise for the veteran opener Mithali Raj, who won both 'Player of the Match and Series' award for her consistent scores.
“She is the most experience player in our side and whenever she performs well we always put good score on the board. Her experience always a lot of confidence and help us do well in the international level. Hopefully she plays for two, three years so that young girls can also learn something from her. Girls like me are still learning from her and hopefully her experience will give us lot of confidence.”
The visiting captain hailed the South African tour as one of the most tough ones and said it always felt good to go back home with a trophy.
“Yes definitely, as a team we really enjoyed it and South Africa tour is always very tough for us because we know they are a very good side. Last time also we enjoyed when we won. This year also we enjoyed and it always a good feeling to go home with a trophy.”
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