India captain Harmanpreet Kaur hit back at the comments made by former England men's skipper Nasser Hussain, who termed her run-out at 52 in the semi-final of Womens T20 World Cup against Australia as a 'schoolgirl error'.
Harmanpreet, who played the semi-final despite suffering from illness, was leading her side's charge of chasing down Australia's 172/4. But a bizarre moment in the 15th over sent Harmanpreet back when her bat got locked while running towards striker's end, leaving her short of her ground.
It turned out to be the turning point of the match as India could make only 167/8 in their 20 overs, despite a 69-run stand off 41 balls between Harmanpreet and Jemimah Rodrigues. The loss meant India fell short of a second successive T20 World Cup final appearance after failing to stop the Australian juggernaut by only five runs.
"He said that? Yes. Okay. I don't know. That is a way of thinking. I don't know. But sometimes it happens. I have seen many times in cricket when batters are taking a single like that and sometimes the bat is stuck there. But obviously, I will take it as we were unlucky today, though there are some things we need to improve.
We didn't bowl well in patches. Sometimes we didn't bat well. If you want to win any game, we have to do well in all the departments. Then only you have more chances to go to the semis, to the finals. I think it was unlucky but I don't think it was a mistake by a schoolgirl because we are mature enough. We are playing international cricket and whatever he said, that's his way of thinking. But I don't think it was like that," Harmanpreet said after the game.
This was the second time in almost a year that India went down narrowly to Australia. Last year, in the gold medal match at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, India fell short by nine runs. Harmanpreet wondered what way the match would have gone if her run-out hadn't happened.
"If my bat didn't get stuck, I would've easily finished that run. I think if I had stayed till the last moment, we could have definitely finished the match one over earlier as we had the momentum. But even after that, Deepti was there, Richa was there," the Indian skipper said.
"I had a self-belief that they can do it too because Richa has also batted well in all the matches till now. But I think after I got out, we played 7-8 dot balls in the middle and the match turned there. Otherwise, we had good momentum and the match was going well," she added.