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India at CWG 2022: Veda Krishnamurthy confident of women’s cricket team going the distance – Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Team India had fallen short of ultimate glory in the last two editions of the T20 World Cup despite excelling in the format, but Veda Krishnamurthy believes the Women in Blue have what it takes to go the distance in the next major T20 event — at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Cricket makes a return to the Commonwealth Games after more than two decades, with the women’s game set for a debut, and the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side sure will have their eyes on helping add to India’s medal count in the multi-sport major event that begins on 28 July.

And India batter Krishnamurthy, who was part of Indian side that reached the semis of the 2018 T20 World Cup as well as the summit clash in the next edition two years later, believes India’s wait for a trophy or a medal could finally end this summer, primarily given how Harmanpreet is managing the side since taking over as the all-format captain following Mithali Raj’s retirement.

“We’ve kind of got better, if you look at it. In 2017 (2018), we lost in the semi-finals. Then we made it to the finals in 2020. So, probably this is the time that we can go ahead and win the medal.

“If you look at it, we’ve been really doing well in the T20 format. The kind of performance coming out, as a team Harman and Smriti are doing really well in handling the entire team. And one good thing what we’ve seen is since the IPL, the captaincy of Harman, which was a lot talked about, she’s kind of gotten there and you can see the difference in her captaincy and I think that is a great sign for the Indian team.

“Plus she being in form, she can single-handedly destroy any team on that given day. So a lot of positives going forward into this tournament,” Kaur told reporters in a virtual interaction ahead of the Commonwealth Games, in which she’ll serve as a Hindi commentator for official India broadcaster Sony Sports Network.

On whether the team was perhaps missing the experience of Mithali and Jhulan and have yet to find their replacements, Krishnamurthy opined that the Women in Blue have performed well in T20Is without the legends and have figured out their ideal combination at the same time.

“If you look at it, they’ve not played T20 format for years together, so you really can’t tell that it would be something that the team would miss because they have gone on to play without them for years and have done really well. Maybe how MS was with the men’s team as a mentor, we probably could have had one of them too,” Krishnamurthy said in the call.

India head into the Commonwealth Games on the back of a fruitful tour of Sri Lanka, in which they won all the games bar one T20I with skipper Harmanpreet Kaur dishing out one fine performance after another. Krishnamurthy believes that though the side isn’t as acclimatised to the conditions as South Africa, which is currently playing a multi-format series in England, the fickle nature of English conditions meant a level-playing field for all teams involved.

“India is in such an unpredictable country — you cannot really know what’s in store the next day, it’s similar to Bangalore I feel like.

“I feel that they’ve played enough cricket — they had the World Cup, then they had the IPL. So they’ve been in and around, and they’ve come up with a combination I’m sure. The condition max-to-max would be whether you want an extra pacer or not in the team,” said Krishnamurthy on the call.

Among the most anticipated clashes of the tournament will be the India-Pakistan clash, the tickets for which have already been sold out with the organisers expecting a blockbuster of a clash between the two South Asian arch-rivals.

Krishnamurthy, for one, described the match as one where the passion for the game increased “hundred-fold” and the game would be high on emotions and intensity.

“Not just fans, everybody feels the same thing. The passion towards the game increases hundred-fold. You kind of become proper ‘Hindustani’, Indian and you want to be like today you want to win, that’s it. You don’t care about who’s going to perform and how you’re going to do it.

“End of the day, when the match gets over, it should be like India won against Pakistan by so-and-so wickets and so-and-so runs. That’s all that matters. There will be a lot of emotions that day even before the game starts because you’ll see a lot of people who have come to watch it. There will be a lot of emotions. It’s just that how you’re going to keep everything intact,” Krishnamurthy added.

India begin their campaign against Australia on 29 July and face Pakistan two days later. The Women in Blue then face Barbados — the team representing the West Indies in this tournament — in the final Pool A clash on 3 August. All the matches will take place at Birmingham’s Edgbaston Cricket Ground.

Watch the LIVE coverage of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on SONY SIX, SONY TEN 1, SONY TEN 2, SONY TEN 4 (English) & SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) channels starting from 28th July 2022 at 11:30 pm IST.

Click here to read other important Commonwealth Games 2022 stories

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