On September 25, the Indian women's cricket team scripted history at the Asian Games 2023 as Harmanpreet Kaur-led side defeated Sri Lanka by 19 runs in the final. Throughout the cricket matches at the Games, Indian side produced top-notch performances to bring the gold medal back home. Cricket has been part of the Asian Games (2010 and 2014) but neither the men's nor women's sides have ever participated at the event. (Highlights | Scorecard | Medal Tally | Full Coverage)
Post the win, secretary of the Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) Jay Shah tweeted, "Indian women's cricket team wins Gold at the #AsianGames with a dominant win over Sri Lanka, led by 18-year-old sensation #TitasSadhu's bowling brilliance (3 for 6). Congratulations to the team and support staff for this historic achievement!"
Indian women's cricket team wins Gold at the #AsianGames with a dominant win over Sri Lanka, led by 18-year-old sensation #TitasSadhu's bowling brilliance (3 for 6). Congratulations to the team and support staff for this historic achievement! 🇮🇳 @BCCIWomenpic.twitter.com/md78olzIxS— Jay Shah (@JayShah) September 25, 2023
So after a historic day, let's discuss 5 talking points about the Indian Women's cricket historic gold at the Asian Games 2023:
Smriti Mandhana's leadership quality:
In the absence of the suspended Harmanpreet Kaur, southpaw Smriti Mandhana led India in the semi-final against Bangladesh at the Asian Games 2023. Mandhana's cool and calm persona on the field really personified on the field too as India thumped Bangladesh by bowling them out for a paltry 51. Moreover, her teammate Jemimah Rodrigues too praised her captaincy by stating, "Smriti is very cool but when she’s on the field she means business."
Higher Ranking/Seeding At Asian Games 2023 Cricket Matches:
Due to the latest ICC T20I rankings on June 1, India earned a direct berth in the quarter-final stage in both Men's and Women's categories at the Asian Games 2023 cricket matches. Alongside India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were the other teams who gained direct qualification of playing in the last eight stage.
Rains Playing Spoilsport:
At the cricket games in the Asian Games 2023, rains played a major spoilsport with most games being affected by it. Most notably was the India Women vs Malaysia Women, Quarter Final 1 that was halted by rains but India progressed further due to their higher ranking.
Indian teens shine on the big stage:
The likes of Pooja Vastrakar, Titas Sadhu were the notable shining stars at the Games. Pooja Vastrakar's four-fer in the semi-final whereas Titas Sadhu's three-wicket haul in the final really were the standout performances in the 19th Asian Games cricket matches.
Harmanpreet Kaur's absence:
India captain Harmanpreet Kaur was suspended for her team’s next two international matches following two separate breaches of the ICC Code of Conduct during the third match of its ICC Women’s Championship series against Bangladesh in Dhaka on Saturday. With that, she missed India's matches at the Asian Games 2023. However, Kaur's absence was hardly felt as India clinched gold at the 19th Asian Games by beating Sri Lanka in the final.