Rejuvenated Harmanpreet Kaur confident of getting back amongst runs going into T20I series
Harmanpreet Kaur © Getty Images
2, 8, 1, 15, and 4. These were India T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur's scores in the 2020 T20 World Cup. Since then, she has played three T20s, leading the Supernovas to the Women's T20 Challenge final last year; T20 internationals - nil. Kaur missed the three-match T20I series against South Africa earlier in March due to the groin injury she suffered during the ODI series.
Speaking ahead of the first T20I against England, Kaur said that she was recovering from a grade-four groin injury going into the South Africa series. Owing to the pandemic situation, she was not able to get any match-time under her belt. "Directly going and testing on the match was not the right thing, but there was not much time. I know, a lot of time, my physio asks me to play safe as I am someone who likes to give 200 per cent and could get injured at times because of that," she said during the media interaction on Tuesday (July 8).
"During the match, I got a grade two injury in my left groin. Because of COVID, NCA was closed, and I was doing my rehab through online sessions. It was at the same time I got infected by COVID as well. If an injury takes 15 days to recover, it took two months for me because of COVID. After COVID, the body does not have much strength to train yourself."
The 32-year-old was working on her physical fitness than her batting or bowling in the lead up to the England tour. She has scored 48 runs in this tour across formats so far. However, Kaur said that she is feeling fit and well at the moment, adding, "I needed more time in the nets. During this time, I have got enough time to train."
"In international cricket, things don't come easy your way. After five innings, I have understood how and what I have to improve. I can confidently say that I am ready for these three matches. It is just a matter of one good innings for me. Will carry the momentum from thereon. You can see a different approach from me."
Despite losing the first two ODIs, India came back strongly to finish the series on a high with a win in the third. Kaur said that they would be trying to carry the momentum forward going into the T20I series.
"If you see the second ODI, we did not win the game, but we got the momentum from there. The way we field and bowled that day was outstanding. After a long gap when you play international cricket, things are not that easy. Once you got the momentum, that is something you have to continue. The last win was very important in that aspect, and we would like to carry that."
When asked about the challenges India might have against England, Kaur was straightforward with the answers. She said that scoring runs in the death overs and power-hitting are the areas of concern for India. "The addition of Sneh Rana has tilted the balance in our favour. You need the kind of players who can contribute both with the bat and the ball. Usually, our concerns used to be fielding and power-hitting. We have worked on fielding and have improved in the last few matches. We are practising our power-hitting too."
On whether this series would be a start for their preparation towards the next global tournament, Kaur said that this would be the right time for India to experiment and give chances to youngsters in the team. With India having to pick from two allrounders - Rana and Pooja Vastrakar, and three wicketkeeping options - Taniya Bhatia, Richa Ghosh and Indrani Roy, the skipper said that the team management is working on different combinations during the net sessions.
"If you talk about the last two years, we were going with the same mindset. I can give you an example with our bowling plans. We were going with four spinners and a medium pacer, and we did not want to try anything extra. Whoever was in the form, we were going with the flow. But right now, we have time to try a few more combinations. We did so in the nets as well."
"Personally, I feel this is the right time to try few things - Richa as a wicketkeeping option. We are looking at that aspect also. After today's session, we will sit and decide on the best eleven possible," she concluded.