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We lost matches that we should have won: Amita

Being runners-up in the last edition,India’s third-place finish in the just-concluded women’s World Cup in Australia may look like going one step back.

Written by Daksh Panwar | New Delhi |
March 25, 2009 10:51:15 pm

Being runners-up in the last edition,India’s third-place finish in the just-concluded women’s World Cup in Australia may look like going one step back. Coming as it did on the back of a poor 2008,it seems like considerable progress. In a candid chat with Sportline,Team India vice-captain Amita Sharma tries to put the result in perspective. Excerpts:

After the team’s performance over the past one year,not many expected them to fare this well in the World Cup. You must be very satisfied with the result?
I won’t say I’m very happy. We had reached the final in the last edition,while this time we’ve finished third. If you analyse it over a period of four years,then we have lost ground. However,given the fact that we lost to England and Australia badly last year,it’s not that bad a result after all.

And it could’ve been better had the team not lost crucial matches.
We lost the games we should’ve won. The loss against New Zealand hurt us the most. Luck played an important factor.

India lost four wickets to run-outs — including yours — in that match. Do you think poor running between the wickets did the team in?
That was a one-off match,I won’t blame running between the wickets as much as,say,our fielding. It certainly left a lot to be desired. We couldn’t latch on to the catches and that cost us dearly.

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How will you rate the team’s performance with the bat and the ball?
Mithali (Raj) and Anjum (Chopra) were among the runs while the bowling was pretty good too. But you can’t ignore the fact that there were no hundreds or five-wicket hauls.

Team’s spearhead,Jhulan Goswami,bowled well but got only four wickets in the tournament.
That was one major factor. Jhulan is our strike bowler,had she got more wickets,it would have helped us a lot.

India defeated hosts Australia twice in the tournament. Having lost in the final to them four years back,it must have been sweet revenge?
No,it wasn’t revenge or anything of that sort. The only thing we had in mind when we faced them both times was that it was a must-win match. There were no grudges. However,beating Australia was certainly the high point of the World Cup campaign.

Personally,being among the wickets and the runs in the tournament must have been satisfying?
It was a mixed bag. I did claim nine wickets,but last time my tally was 13. I batted better than the last time,however. I think it was in accordance with my changing role in the team — I am an all-rounder,and a first-change bowler. So I am happy about it.

And making it to the ICC World XI is the icing on the cake?
To be rated among the world’s best is always an honour. I feels great to know that my hard work has been acknowledged.

The Twenty20 World Cup in England is round the corner. Are you hoping to make amends there?
It’s still a couple of months away. We have got plenty of time on our hands. Our focus will be on performing well and taking it one match at a time. If luck favours us,who knows,we may return with the trophy.

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