Have full faith in skills and determination of our Indian squad, says Harmanpreet Kaur

by IANS |

Melbourne, Nov 15 (IANS) India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur wished the Rohit Sharma-led side good luck for their 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup semi-final clash against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, and expressed absolute faith in the skills and determination of the hosts’.

India, the two-time champions and hosts’ of the ongoing tournament, have racked up nine victories in a row to enter the semi-final stage as the only unbeaten side in the competition. They are up against New Zealand, who have been runners-up in last two ODI World Cups and are known to punch above their weight in the knockouts.

“India has played very good cricket in this tournament. If you see, all of their wins have come in nearly one-sided fashion and such an achievement like that is very exceptional to see in home conditions. There is a very different pressure when you are playing in home conditions and the whole credit goes to the team, with every individual performing.”

“Whenever an opportunity has come, they have grabbed it with both hands. I really want Virat Kohli to score his 50th hundred on this big occasion. It would be a historic moment for Indian cricket. I have full faith in the skills and determination of our Indian squad. Wishing the whole team, the very best in the semi-final clash against New Zealand," said Harmanpreet to reporters at the Junction Oval.

Harmanpreet has been turning out for Melbourne Renegades in the ongoing Women’s Big Bash League and will be back in India ahead of a power-packed home season, where they will be facing England (Test and T20I only) and Australia (all formats) in Mumbai. She feels playing in the WBBL is a great way to prepare for crucial assignments at home starting next month.

“Now the thinking has been, what can you do next and what can you bring from here (for the national side). For me, it’s a great tournament to get myself ready for the international games and keep an eye on what others and how their performances are going on. Next couple of months are important for international cricket and will try to give my best wherever I can for the team.”

India will be playing a four-day Test match against England at the DY Patil Stadium from December 14-17, followed by one against Australia from December 21-24 at the Wankhede Stadium.

The hosts’ will be a Tests home after nearly nine years, when they played against South Africa at Mysuru in 2014. Harmanpreet expressed excitement about the prospect of playing Tests at home and wants her team to give their best on the field.

“It will be my first Test where I will be playing in front of my home crowd (in a long time) and really looking forward for that. We will try to give our best as we haven’t played too many Tests and don’t have that much experience. But still, we will try to give our best and enjoy the moments.”

She signed off by paying tribute to multiple World Cups winning Australia captain Meg Lanning, who recently retired from international cricket. “It was shocking as the kind of player she is; I still feel she had so many years to do well for Australian cricket. But that’s her personal decision and she has achieved so much which players like us dream to achieve. She led the team upfront to so many ICC titles and I wish her luck for the future.”

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