In less than ten days from now, one of the biggest events in women’s cricket will be unfurling as the Women’s T20 World cup gets underway at South Africa. India will be eyeing some crucial steam going into the tournament and the Indian skipper, Harmanpreet Kaur opened up at length to the Hindustan Times Cricket and highlighted a lot of crucial pointers for the Women in Blue.
From finding the right combination of players to take charge to imparting perspective to the dressing room, she opened up in detail about how this tournament is going to be a crucial factor in terms of testing India’s strength, also offering them a stern platform where they will have to stick together as a team to stay afloat.
Talking about the mindset that India will be coming to this tournament with, Kaur said, “We have been trying to play like this (attacking cricket) for some time now. I’m really pleased that, now, finally we are seeing the results. We regularly discuss in team meetings that we have to play aggressive cricket. It doesn’t matter how the pitch is behaving, we have to remain positive in our approach. We have to back our abilities. We want to set certain targets while batting instead of just going with the flow. Previously, we have been caught on the wrong foot with that strategy. We want to rectify that. We need to be mindful of our strike rate.”
She also shed some light on India’s coping mechanism, adding, “We are ready for failures. That is not going to stop us. When you are trying new things on the field, sometimes you don’t get immediate success. But day by day we want to improve. There can be an odd day when things don’t go according to our plans. We want to learn from that. Nowadays, we have a long batting line-up so that also gives us an extra cushion and motivates us to take those extra chances.”
Harmanpreet heaped praises on India’s new coaching unit, as she said, “We worked with him (Kanitkar) earlier at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and on the Sri Lanka tour. The kind of confidence that he gives to us is something very important. Talking about skills and technique is not the primary thing (at this level) but giving confidence, and backing the players is the key. He totally understands that. We always wanted someone who will be calm, he brings that to the dressing room. It’s very easy to panic or lose your focus (in difficult situations). He speaks very little but whenever he talks, we listen to him. Everyone on the team is attentive when he is talking as he spreads so much positivity. The way he speaks, and the words he uses stay with us.”
She concluded by talking about the young guns of the team, adding, “It’s very important to give them confidence and let them express themselves. It’s hugely satisfying to see whoever is getting the opportunity, is utilising it. When you have the right attitude, more often than not you will get the results. Full credit to them. The way they are showing hunger for doing well for the country is something which makes my job easy as a captain. I can only give them a plan. I can only guide them (the rest is up to them). The confidence and positive attitude that they have brought to the team, is heartening to see and that is giving them the results.”