Watch: Harmanpreet Throws Ball At Aus Star In Burst Of Aggression. Then...
Harmanpreet Kaur snaffled the dangerous Alyssa Healy (32) after a sudden burst of aggression
Indian women's cricket team captain Harmanpreet Kaur rose to the challenge yet again when her team needed her the most on Saturday. This time not with the bat but with the ball as she returned with figures of 2/23 amid a challenging third day for India against Australia in the one-off Test in Mumbai. Kaur brought herself on in the third session after India tried almost every trick in their arsenal with the ball but failed to make inroads, as a resolute Australian side overhauled the hosts' 187-run lead in the first innings with consummate ease.
Before dismissing her counterpart, Kaur fired a sharp return throw at Healy, who took an evasive action and the ball raced to the ropes as it deflected off the Australian skipper's bat.
Kaur appealed against Healy for obstructing the field which was rejected by on field umpires Anil Chaudhary and N Janani. On the next ball, Kaur had Healy out leg-before while attempting to sweep.
India batter Deepti Sharma on Saturday hailed Harmanpreet Kaur for being a "magical bowler" on a tough third day of the ongoing Test against Australia, after the skipper provided two crucial breakthroughs to provide some relief to her side.
"Harry di has a golden arm. She always takes a wicket whenever she comes onto bowl," Deepti told the media after the conclusion of third day's play.
"She is always ready (to bowl). Everyone was bowling but we needed a magical bowler who could get a wicket since the partnership had lasted for a long time. We also got some momentum," Deepti added.
About Harmanpreet's meoment of aggression, Deepti said: "All those things happen in cricket in heat of the moment. Our focus was only on taking wickets and bowling dot balls. I do no have much to say on that," Deepti said about the incident.
Deepti, who top-scored with 78 in India's first-innings total of 406, said it would be crucial to strike early on the final day. "The aim will be to take their remaining five wickets as soon as we can in the first half itself — lesser the target the better it would be for us," she said.
"The ball was keeping low on the third day, compared to the first day. It was not that challenging, let's see, the wicket should help the bowlers more tomorrow (Sunday)," she added.
Deepti said Australia's change in approach worked well on the day. "They did not play their usually aggressive game which they had in the first innings and it helped them as well," she said.
Australia all-rounder Perry hoped an overall lead in excess of 200 should hold her side in good stead given there is just a day's play left in this game.
"That comes down to how long is left and how many runs we have put on the board. But it really matters how long we have got to then bowl at India," Perry replied when asked what would be her team's target on the final day.
"Positively speaking, if we can get close to over a 200-run lead, I think that at least keeps us in the game," she said.
With PTI inputs