Indian women’s team fielding has improved by leaps and bounds lately and T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur on Saturday (July 10) credited coach Abhay Sharma for it, citing that his “little adjustments” and “individual sessions” with the players are paying rich dividends.
Harmanpreet and Harleen Deol plucked stunning catches in the rain-marred opening T20I, which England won by 18 runs (DLS method) on Friday (July 9).
“When you play a team game, you need a momentum and it can come from any member of the team. When I took the catch, it created a sort of energy in the team and then Harleen also took a brilliant catch. So to create that energy, you need to take some extra effort,” Harmanpreet said during the virtual press conference.
“Throughout the game, our ground fielding was good, we saved a lot of runs, and we also took some brilliant catches, so I think it is a great sign that our fielding has improved a lot.”
In the fourth delivery of the penultimate over, Harmanpreet, stationed at long on, put an end to Nat Sciver’s brilliant innings by diving to pouch the ball inches above the ground.
Two balls later, Harleen pulled off a blinder on the boundary to dismiss Amy Ellen Jones. After taking the catch with a full-stretched jump, Harleen had to throw the ball in as the momentum took her over the boundary. She quickly moved in and made a dive to complete the catch.
Talking about the contribution of the fielding coach, Harmanpreet said: “Abhay sir has been with us for quite sometime, his little awareness makes you a better player. That is being refleted in our fielding.
“Earlier also, we used to make a lot of effort but the little adjustments that he has done with our fielding, the individual sessions that he has taken with the players that has helped.
“The most important point was he judged every player where can do better fielding, so we are getting the results day by day from the effort that we have put in, which is a great positive.”
Despite Indian bowlers picking wickets in the last few overs, England women found themselves in a comfortable position with 178/7 on the board in 20 overs. They ended up winning the match as India scored only 54/3 in 8.4 overs before rain played spoilsport.
Asked what would be the approach in the next two T20Is, Harmanpreet said: “We always play to win, unfortunately we lost a few wickets… so approach will be the same. The wicket is good to bat on, so if we bat first we can score 10-15 runs extra, but next two games approach will remain the same.”
(With PTI inputs)