Cricket

Harmanpreet confident of chances

India cricket team captain Harmanpreet Kaur and coach W.V. Raman address press conference prior to departure for ICC Women's T20 World Cup tournament at BCCI head quarter on Thursday. ICC World cup scheduled to be held in Australia between February 21 and March 8, 2020.

India cricket team captain Harmanpreet Kaur and coach W.V. Raman address press conference prior to departure for ICC Women's T20 World Cup tournament at BCCI head quarter on Thursday. ICC World cup scheduled to be held in Australia between February 21 and March 8, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe

The women’s T20 World Cup will be played in Australia from February 21 to March 8.

India's women’s cricket team featured in a T20 World Cup two years ago, when it crashed out in the semifinals. And, as another edition beckons, captain Harmanpreet Kaur is confident of India’s chances.

“We were pretty close in the last two World Cups (ODI, 2017 and T20, 2018). The only reason we did not win the last two World Cups, was we could not handle pressure when we had to,” Harmanpreet said on Thursday, before leaving for Australia.

Natural game

This time around, the team has set a new target. “Rather than taking pressure, we need to enjoy our game. We need to back our skills and rely on our natural game,” she said.

While the T20 World Cup begins next month, India will play a tri-series involving England and Australia from January 31.

“We will get a few good, tough games that will give us pointers to what needs to be done. And, even if we come off worse in the tournament, that’s also good, because the only way after that is up, so any which way you look at it, the tri-series is going be very helpful,” coach W.V. Raman said.

With youngsters Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues and Richa Ghosh in the squad, the batting has depth and Raman sees it as a positive. “That will definitely help us psychologically. At the start of last season, we did not do well enough in the few games. After that, the unit settled down. Each of the players had a good hit, they are all in good nick and they have also worked on their skills, which means you do have a fair bit of sense of security and confidence going into this tournament,” he said. 

“We are covering all the bases. This is perhaps one of the best teams. They are enthusiastic, positive and focused. That’s very important,” the coach said.

Cautious

While it will be a new challenge for most of the cricketers, Harmanpreet, Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah have the experiences of playing Women’s Big Bash League in Australia. However, Raman stays cautious, saying there is a difference between franchise cricket and international assignments.

“They may be familiar with the conditions, but this is a different platform, the pressure element is different,” Raman said.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 12:48:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/handling-pressure-will-be-key-in-upcoming-t20-world-cup-harmanpreet-kaur/article30631773.ece

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