Lisa Sthalekar believes Harmanpreet Kaur's swashbuckling knock in the Women's World Cup 2022 encounter against Australia is a note of caution for the other teams.
Kaur smashed an unbeaten 57 off 47 deliveries and helped Team India set a challenging 278-run target for Australia. However, the Aussie women were largely untroubled in the run chase and reached the target with six wickets in hand and three deliveries to spare.
During a discussion on Star Sports, Lisa Sthalekar was asked about Harmanpreet Kaur proving to be a dangerous player when a platform has been set for her. She responded:
"India have kept with her throughout the last few years when probably she hasn't delivered as many runs as should have and she seems to step it up come in World Cups. That half-century, she has been able to build that up, it is a real warning sign for other teams that she is starting to fire because we know how big she can go. So it was an excellent innings by Harmanpreet Kaur."
Kaur walked out to bat at a score of 158/3 after Yastika Bhatia and Mithali Raj had strung together a 130-run partnership for the third wicket. She provided the required impetus to the innings, with Pooja Vastrakar also joining the party later in the innings.
"Pooja Vastrakar actually puts the cream on top of India if she gets going" - Lisa Sthalekar
Lisa Sthalekar was also asked about Pooja Vastrakar providing the late flourish to the Indian innings, to which she replied:
"When she [Pooja Vastraker] played against the Aussies on home soil, she likes the pacier, bouncier pitch because she is quite happy to actually go hard. She is actually powerful enough to hit the shorter deliveries back over, so she is great to have for India. We saw that in the first game against Pakistan but she actually puts the cream on top of India if she gets going."
The former Australian all-rounder also showered praise on Yastika Bhatia for giving the early momentum to the Indian innings. Lisa Sthalekar elaborated:
"You needed India to play fearless cricket and you felt that the youngsters were the ones that led the way. Shafali Verma didn't necessarily go ballistic, that's okay. But they have got Yastika Bhatia who can do that and the fact that she has got two half-centuries in ODI cricket and they are both against Australia, it's great to see."
Vastrakar smoked 34 off just 28 deliveries and stitched together a 64-run partnership with Kaur. Bhatia's knock of 59 off 83 balls had set the platform after Team India lost a couple of early wickets.
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