India captain Harmanpreet Kaur has admitted that playing a high number of dot balls is an issue which is already worrying the team ahead of a possible semifinal clash against defending champions Australia in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup.
After playing 51 dot balls in their 11-run loss to England, India showed some improvement by playing 41 dot balls in their rain-affected victory over Ireland in their final Group B match at Gqeberha on Monday. But against a team like Australia, India will be aware that they cannot afford to play that many dot balls.
"We did discuss these things in the previous meeting also, against England also, we played too many dot balls. So, things like that, we have been discussing in the team meetings. But sometimes, when another team is bowling too well, end of the day, these wickets are something when you score 150, that's a pass score for you. It's important that 150 should be on the board other than just taking too much pressure."
"World Cup games are always something where both the teams are always under pressure. In these matches, if 150 is on the board, you're always in the upper hand. We are not putting too much pressure on ourselves."
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"We are just going there and understanding what conditions are there and just playing according to the situation. And dot balls are something which is already worrying us. And I think (in) the next game, we would love to see some improvement in that area also," she said in the post-match press conference.
Asked about the excitement of potentially playing Australia in a semifinal, Harmanpreet remarked, "We always enjoy whenever we play against Australia and no matter if we play against them in semis or any other tournament, we always want to give 100%."
"Because whenever you do well against Australia, you always get good confidence. And it will be a very crucial game for both teams. We just want to go and enjoy our cricket."
India had squared off against Australia in a five-game T20I series last year in Mumbai, losing by 4-1, as well as in a warm-up match ahead of the World Cup. Harmanpreet thinks that playing against a champion side like Australia in a bilateral series was a huge confidence booster for her team.
"That series gave us a lot of confidence. The brand of cricket we played in that particular series was something which gave us a lot of confidence. And now we know them very well, we played five games back-to-back and then one practice game, we know, their strength, their weakness, we know what we have to do."
"So, I think, when you play a bilateral series, that always gives you a lot of confidence and then the areas where you have to, improve as a team. So, I think we have that fair idea of how we have to go about the next game and we just make our plan accordingly and then just go and play our cricket."
Harmanpreet signed off by saying there will be equal pressure on both India and Australia if the semifinal match-up between them is confirmed.
"There will be equal pressure because, our team has been doing well for many years and obviously, Australia has played very well in this tournament. They have been unbeaten and have always been doing well. And when we get a chance to play against them, our motive is to play good cricket."
"Because when you play good cricket in front of a team like Australia, you get to learn a lot as a player and as a team, you get a chance to do well in the future. So, I think it's a match that happens here, the team that does the best in every moment goes ahead."
"It's not like, a team is good, they will do well. We will just play our free cricket because whenever our team has played with freedom, we have always won big matches. So, our main motive will be to stay in a good mindset, stay positive and back ourselves."