India vs. Australia, Semi – Final, seaming conditions and arguably the best batswomen of all time, Australian Captain Meg Lanning returning to lead the side. With a win loss ratio of 33:8 favoring Australia, hardly anyone would’ve picked India to face England in the 2017 Women’s World Cup Final.
After winning the toss, India chose to bat and lost two quick wickets and were struggling at 35 for 2 after 10 overs. In came Harmanpreet Kaur (HK), with a reputation of being a hard hitter and the first Indian woman to be picked for the Women’s Big Bash League.
Little did Australia know that a hurricane, named Harmanpreet Kaur was about to strike them. HK blasted 171* in 111 balls against the best bowling attack in women’s cricket. She was equally brutal against spin and pace and did no harm to her hard hitting reputation. She took the total beyond Australia’s reach to 281 and the bowlers ensured no legend killer act from the Australians.
Those who were lucky enough to see one of the best ODI innings of all time, don’t need a second guess to figure out who HK’s cricket idol is. She follows the same ideology ‘See the ball, hit the ball’. Yes, Virender Sehwag is her childhood hero.
For the first time in my life, I was glued to my seat watching a women’s cricket match. This was one of the most gripping knocks I have ever seen and what a perfect stage to perform. She struck more sixes in this match alone than Anjum Chopra (Padma Shri) struck in her entire 17 year long career, such was the dominance.
India’s captain and best batswomen Mithali Raj, who holds the record for most runs in ODI’s is 34 years old and has already made it clear that this will be her last world cup. Similarly, the highest wicket taker in ODI’s Jhulan Goswami is also playing her last world cup, most probably.
Both Mithali and Jhulan have been the flag-bearers of Indian women’s cricket team for the last 2 decades. With young team India showing such great promise, it’s about time to pass the baton. HK has shown enough promise to be termed as the Next Big Thing of Women’s Cricket.
This day will be remembered as the day when one legend, Harmanpreet Kaur was born.
The final is on 23rd July and HK has given a lot more reason to watch it. With a star studded line up, let’s hope India brings the cup home.