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Moga girl named deputy in team India

chandigarh Updated: May 15, 2012 12:28 IST
Kaushik Chatterji

Even as the IPL administrators worry themselves sick over a few TRPs, Moga's Harmanpreet Kaur is happy that women's cricket is being beamed live on the small screen.

Had that not been the case, the 23-year-old middle order batsman, who on Monday was appointed vice-captain for the India women's tour of England, might never have heard about experts equating her poise with that of Rahul Dravid's.

"(Virender) Sehwag is my idol, but I was told by my family and well-wishers that TV commentators during Australia's tour of India were comparing me to Dravid," says Harmanpreet, who hails from Moga. "I want to emulate him when I bat in the English conditions, which favour the medium pacers and are slightly tricky for the batsmen."

A teenaged girl playing cricket in the school as well as neighbourhood, that too with boys older and much bulkier, would set alarm bells ringing in the minds of most Indian parents. Luckily for Harmanpreet, her father's sporting spirit ensured that there were no objections at her taking up the sport.

"He has played football at the state level, but is also passionate about cricket, and conducts gully cricket tournaments," says Harmanpreet. "I used to accompany him to the matches, and stood in as a fielder whenever there was the need."

Things took a serious turn when her school principal Kamaldish Singh Sodhi spotted her playing; before long, she made her way through age group cricket and into the state's senior side.

With the experience of last English summer's NatWest series and form on her side - she has hit half-centuries in three of India's last four ODIs - Harmanpreet, who at her young age is already a veteran of one World Cup and two World T20s, is looking to use the tour as well as the Asia Cup and World T20 lined up after it as stepping stones towards a larger goal: "I want to keep proving myself and lead India." As long as her blade keeps talking, there's no reason why she can't do a Dhoni next year, when India hosts the World Cup.