Indian women’s team skipper Harmanpreet Kaur is no stranger to controversy and once again, she finds herself stuck in the middle of some social media bashing. Plenty of former cricketers and critics were not impressed with her comments on young spinner Shreyanka Patil after the second T20I against Australia in Navi Mumbai.
With Australia needing 15 runs in two overs, Shreyanka was handed the ball. Phoebe Litchfield and Ellyse Perry amassed 17 runs between themselves and finished the game in style, as Australia won by six wickets and an over to spare. This victory for the Aussies levelled the two-match series after India had won the first match.
Harmanpreet Kaur blames Shreyanka Patil for the loss
Harmanpreet Kaur wasn’t impressed with the 21-year-old’s efforts and said it would’ve been better if Shreyanka was more accurate with the ball.
“In the 19th over, if Shreyanka was on target, it would have made a huge difference for us. But yeah these are the things we need to do. We have seen these sorts of games a lot of time,” Harmanpreet said at the post-match presentation.
After an impressive all-round performance in the first match, the Indian batters couldn’t get going on Sunday and only put up 130/8 batting first. Deepti Sharma, who scored 30 vital runs with the bat, also shone with the ball, registering figures of 2/22 in four overs. Some economic spells from Renuka Singh and Pooja Vastrakar took the match close, but Australia took it home through Litchfield and Perry.
These comments drew plenty of criticism all over social media. Former Indian cricketer Dodda Ganesh tweeted “Throwing a youngster under the bus is not done”, while another Twitter user suggested Harmanpreet requires media training.
Shreyanka Patil, playing only her fifth T20I match, came into the limelight through Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Women’s Premier League and also represented Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League. She made her international debut in December last year and represented the national side in two WODIs as well.
There have been many instances where Harmanpreet Kaur was at the receiving end of similar criticism. During the 2017 World Cup semi-final against Australia, a mix-up between Harmanpreet and Deepti Sharma nearly saw the former getting run-out and Deepti was fed an earful, which left the player in tears while she was still in the middle.
Not too long ago, during the tour of Bangladesh, the Indian team remained unhappy with plenty of the decisions made during the series which ended 1-1 and both teams shared the trophy. The captain didn’t just go all-out with her comments in the post-match presentation but was also accused of passing comments which disappointed Bangladesh’s captain Nigar Sultana. It was reported widely that Harmanpreet had told the Bangladesh captain to invite the umpires for the team photo as well, insinuating that umpires were siding with the hosts throughout the series.
This incident also saw Harmanpreet get a two-match international ban, due to which she missed out on the quarter-final and semi-final of the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou.