Need to come up together, can’t rely on just one or two players: Harmanpreet Kaur
The Indian women’s cricket team captain Harmanpreet Kaur on Thursday said her side will target consistent collective efforts instead of relying on just a couple of players to deliver the goods when it takes on Australia in the T20 World Cup here on Friday.
India have failed to reach the final in any of the six previous editions of the tournament with a semi-final spot two years ago being the third time they managed to reach the knockout stages.
The current side’s average age is 22.8 and Kaur expects the youngsters to make a mark against the defending champions, who have clinched the trophy four times. “If you want to do well as a team, you need to come up together and do well for the side,” she said on the eve of the match.
“Through past tournaments, we have learnt that you cannot depend on just one or two players to win the game for you,” she added.
The Indian team’s reliance on the big-hitting Smriti Mandhana and Kaur to do the job with the bat has been criticised, most recently during the tri-series against Australia and England.
“If you want to win a big tournament like the World Cup, you have to come up as a team and that’s what we’re looking to do,” Kaur said.
Kaur said with sprightly teenagers like Jemaimah Rodrigues and Shafali Verma in the ranks, the team is “mentally very fresh”.
“...they don’t know what type of pressure they have to face.They love playing cricket, that’s why they are in this side and they are definitely enjoying this moment,” she said. “As a woman cricketer, we love these moments, we missed the coverage in the past and so the players are enjoying it.” Kaur said her teammates are also quite enthused by the prospect of playing in front a packed stadium.
“We’re really enjoying this, as a cricketer you miss these things when you don’t play,” she said. “When you’re playing at home you have more pressure. Australia may have that but they are a very good side, everyone is doing well. We all know that Indian fans love cricket, and wherever it is happening, they love to go and watch.
“That’s what we are expecting in this game. We love when India fans come and support us and that is a big positive sign for us,” she added.