With India women’s cricket team returning with the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the time has come for the families of skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, all-rounder Harleen Deol and wicketkeeper Taniya Bhatia to greet their daughters resoundingly at the Mohali international airport Wednesday night. This is the first time that the Indian women’s cricket team has participated in the Commonwealth Games; seeing Indian flags raised makes us emotional, said Harmander Bhullar, father of Harmanpreet Kaur, accompanied by his wife, Satwinder Kaur. We were slightly disappointed to see the Indian women’s cricket team losing against Australia in the final, but a silver medal is a historical one too for India. It felt special to see a silver medal around the neck of captain Harmanpreet Kaur, which was also a special feeling for all her teammates.
Those watching closely at the tournament feel that the Indian women’s team has a few silverwares they can take back even though they lost in the World Cup. After limiting Australia to 161 for 8, India lost openers Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma in the first over. Still, a 96-run stand between Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues gave India a commanding lead. In a T20 international, you would almost always bet on the batting team to win if they needed 23 runs to win off 16 balls with five wickets left. That formula allowed India to claim the gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which featured women’s cricket and the T20 format for the first time. Going into the Commonwealth Games, the Indian women’s team had no easy time playing fearless cricket against some of the best teams. While the seniors, Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana, were listening, Pooja Vastrakar raised her hand to say the team lacked a killer instinct and played aggressive cricket, even in difficult situations was essential.
Twenty-four-year-old wicketkeeper Taniya Bhatia, who played three matches at Birmingham, had one shot at being troubled in the final, besides contributing along with the rest in three games at the Commonwealth Games Birmingham. The Indian women’s cricket team had the opportunity to get acquainted with players of other sports and meet members of the Indian Hockey Team. Although the Indian women’s team lost their final match by nine runs, this was only the second occasion when the Indian cricket team participated in the Commonwealth Games, with the first being at the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games in 1998. While pacer Renuka Sing‘s family, who hails from the Parsa village outside Rohru, Himachal Pradesh, was not allowed to travel to Chandigarh, three other cricketers’ families welcomed the skipper Harmanpreet Kaur to Mohali.