Harmanpreet Kaur will be one of the most sought after players when Indian women’s team travels to South Africa for a big ticket tour. This will be the first international matches for Indian Women’s team, post their ICC Women’s World Cup success, where they finished runners-up.
Harmanpreet gave an interview to Cricbuzz.com and we have some excerpts from the same.
Talking about her recent WBBL experience, Harmanpreet said, “I really enjoyed another year in WBBL - to be fair, it would nice to be here for the rest of the tournament because we, as a team, have been playing really well and it would have been good to play in the finals, but at the same time the national duty is calling so I'm really excited to head to South Africa for the ODI series.”
Harmanpreet also said that she would like to carry the game awareness factor from the BBL into the Indian team dressing room culture.
She says, “What I want to take back into Indian camp from my experience in Australia is the approach we take into games and in specific different situations during a match. Doesn't matter if we're giving away runs or things are not going your way at a particular stage - they still keep thinking about what we have to do next. The thinking is always positive, there will be times when bowlers will go for runs, but it's so important to stay ahead of the game and not dwell on the last ball because that moment is now gone. We still need to learn the situation or game awareness a bit more and I would love to share this experience with my teammates.”
Talking about the long break that the team had after the World Cup, Harmanpreet said, “After the World Cup we didn't play any tournament, but I think that was good because before World Cup we were playing continuously for a year. It was, in a way, nice to have that long break to refresh our minds and even our bodies and hopefully that will help us in South Africa. Indian fans have a lot of hopes from us and that is a good thing because we always wanted this attention from the fans back home in India to generate that interest in women's cricket.”
Talking about her rivals, the South African players, she said, “I came up against three or four South African players and I know how at the Thunder we planned against then, so I will use that information. From my batting point of view, I faced a couple of them - like Dane van Niekerek and Marizane Kaap - so having played them will help me plan better against them. Also, I can share all that information with my team-mates on what to expect, or how they bowl or where they like to hit, so it is exciting time for us. On personal level I will not get uncomfortable against them because I know what to expect.”
Speaking about the upcoming challenges for the Indian team and herself, Harmanpreet said, “Yes, it is a fantastic that our cricket board is staging all these matches now. We wanted more matches and now we are getting them now. Now for us to keep fit and, more importantly, keep performing because I believe the next two or three years are [going to be] so important for women's cricket. We've got the attention of the country now and it is up to us to live up to those high standards.”
She also mentioned fitness and fielding as the departments where Team India should improve upon.
She explained, “Our prime focus is on the fielding and the fitness department. I believe we are still lacking in these departments, but this exposure from the WBBL and even what we started working towards during the World Cup - we can improve on those aspects in the coming series. Hopefully we can improve our game in those aspects as individuals and as a team. It is fantastic we have a lot of matches and that will only help us test all our skills. Playing all these matches in the next few months will also help us when we play bigger tournaments in the future.”