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Following her key role in India levelling the T20I series against England, allrounder says she has learnt to “read and handle situations” better

Deepti Sharma, one of the chief architects of India’s eight-run win over England in the second women’s T20I, says she has got better at reading and handling difficult match situations and enjoys playing under pressure.
Chasing 149, England were cruising with opener Tammy Beaumont (59) and captain Heather Knight (30) in the middle but Sharma was involved in the dismissal of both the batters – the former lbw, and the latter via an unusual run-out – off successive balls in the 14th over to bring India back into the match.

“I like playing in pressure situations, whether it is in any position in the team – batting, bowling, or fielding. As an allrounder, I just want to contribute to my department and take the team forward,” Sharma said at the post-match virtual press conference. “I like leading from the front, like in domestic tournaments when I play as a senior player and win matches for my team, that gives different confidence.

“When you bring that confidence here, of course this platform is not easy but it depends on how you handle it. I now know how to read and handle situations, so I find it easy to play because I know I can handle things easily now.”

After that 14th over, England were left needing 43 off the last 36 balls with six wickets in hand, but they fell short – a fatal slide had been triggered by Sharma.

“It was a crucial over and crucial wicket [of Beaumont]. Earlier [in the same over] also we had taken a DRS [review against Beaumont] but we were unlucky [as the had ball pitched outside off],” Sharma said. “Next, when I bowled [Beaumont was given lbw, England reviewed and this time] it was umpire’s call and it was hitting the stumps. It gave us a lot of confidence.

“We bounced back after that and then the run-out helped us to pull back the match.”

The 23-year-old also contributed with the bat, scoring 24 off 27 balls as India posted 148 for 4. Opener Shafali Verma (48 off 38) and captain Harmanpreet Kaur (31 off 25) were the other major contributors.

“When I was batting, I was looking forward to building a partnership and also score six to seven runs per over,” Sharma said. “That was the mindset but we couldn’t score as much as we wanted. We had got a good start, we thought we can score 160 but the 140 total wasn’t bad because we knew as a bowling unit, we bowl in partnership and we were supporting each other and we could defend the total.”

She said the conditions were slightly difficult for batting at the County Ground in Hove. “Actually wicket was holding up a bit. In the last match, ball was coming onto the bat but today it was holding, it was slightly slow off the pitch, so it was little difficult batting.”

With the series tied at 1-1, India will take on England in the third and final T20I on July 14 to wrap up their UK tour.

Edited PTI copy.



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