Harmanpreet Kaur’s sister has compared the Indian batsman who scored a splendid knock of unbeaten 171 runs on Thursday from just 115 balls with male legends of the sport in Virender Sehwag and Virat Kohli. Her courageous knock took India to a strong total and proved to be far too much for the defending champions Australia to reach as India won by 36 runs.
“She bats like Virender Sehwag and is aggressive like Virat Kohli,” said Harmampreet Kaur’s sister Hemjit to sum up the euphoria that surrounded her family and India following the win at Derby on Thursday.
Harmanpreet scored the biggest knock by an Indian woman in a World Cup match with her 171 runs which were paced extraordinarily with each passing 50 runs. The knock sent her hometown in Moga in
Punjab in frenzy mode.
The celebrations started quickly after India’s win with youth in the area dancing to the beats of the Punjabi dhol while the family was busy distributing sweets. “Right from her childhood, she has been playing cricket with boys. Her hunger for runs never dies and this is reflected in her strike rate,” her sister said. “Harman is always positive. On field she always behaves like Virat Kohli and is aggressive like him. However, off- field, she is quite calm and composed. Right from her early days, she treated Virender Sehwag as her batting idol and even bats like him,” she said.
She believes that Harmanpreet’s knock could have garnered even more runs had the match not been reduced to 42 overs following rain interruption early on. “Had it not been a rain-shortened match, she would have scored a double ton and inflicted more misery on the opposition.”
Harmanpreet’s exploits have earned comparisons with Kapil Dev’s 175 run knock in the 1983 World Cup against Zimbabwe. “If Harman’s innings is being compared with the legendary Kapil Dev, then it is a great honour for her,” her sister said.
Hemjit said their father had been Harmanpreet’s first coach and despite promise, he couldn’t reach the heights of his daughter. “Her first coach has been our father. He was a good cricketer, but due to some circumstances he could not reach where he wanted to in the sport. But today he is able to realise his dream through his daughter,” she said.
Harmanpreet’s mother Satwinder Kaur said her daughter worked hard to get where she is today. “When girls of her age would be carefree, she would sweat it out practicing for hours together. Even at home, she used to practice outside. We are proud of her,” Kaur said.