A World Cup win is not very far now, India’s star all-rounder Deepti Sharma declared after the team’s record-extending seventh Women’s Asia Cup title triumph in Sylhet on Saturday.
Barring an aberration against Pakistan that came courtesy some bizarre planning and experiments, the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side ruled the roost in the continental T20 tournament.
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The final against Sri Lanka turned out to be a one-sided affair as they restricted the islanders to a below-par 65/9 en route to an eight-wicket victory.
“As a team we did well right from the first match till the final. Obviously, it gives you confidence when you win the final,” Deepti, who was adjudged Player of the Tournament, said at the post-match media interaction.
The 25-year-old off-spinning allrounder topped the tally with 13 wickets from eight matches at an average of 7.69. She opened the bowling in the final and returned with tidy figures of 4-0-7-0, setting set the tone.
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“As a team we have done well and backed each other which is good. Throughout the tournament, we wanted to enjoy each and every game.”
India have now won all the editions of the Asia Cup barring the last time in 2018 when they lost to Bangladesh.
The ‘Women in Blue’, however, are yet to taste success at the world level.
They have lost the ODI World Cup finals twice (2005 and 2017), while in the last edition of the T20I World Cup in 2020, India finished runners-up to Australia.
But bolstered by the Asia Cup win, Deepti said a World Cup win is not far now. The next edition of the T20 World Cup in South Africa is just four months’ away.
“If we work like this as a bowling and batting unit, the World Cup is also not very far. This will be the mindset whenever we next play a final. Definitely, this Asia Cup triumph will help a lot, the winning moment gives you confidence for the upcoming series,” Deepti added.
“Our focus was always to do well, rather than just winning and it was about taking one game at a time,” she said about their approach in the Asia Cup.
“As a bowling unit, we planned to back our strengths and focus on our skills. We bowled in partnerships that put them under pressure and they threw their wickets away.
“They (Sri Lanka) did well in the semis and we didn’t take them lightly. But that’s the way the sport is, one team wins and another losses. They have done well throughout the tournament. Maybe it was not their day today,” she concluded.
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