Closing out games has always been a cause of concern for the Indian women's cricket team, and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur believes the solution to this problem lies in getting the right balance in the batting order. In the Birmingham Commonwealth Games final, India, chasing Australia's 162, were on course at 118 for 2 before losing the plot and were bowled out for 152 in 19.3 overs.
"We are working on that. I know for a long time these things are troubling us. We need to show some patience and after a while we will start getting the results also," Harmanpreet said on the eve of the first T20I against England here on Saturday.
"That is why this time we have added two more batters -- Dayalan Hemalatha and -- KP Navgire -- in the side who can finish the game for us. They have done really well in domestic cricket, scored good amount of runs." "We need to have balance in our side in the lower order, when there is balance things become easier," she added. Having said that Harmanpreet believes the visitors need to be flexible in their batting approach.
"We need to be a bit flexible when it comes to batting because sometimes you had to see who is bowling and whose performance is better against her and who can get those runs for us. "Batting wise, we will be very flexible. We will take calls according to match situations," she said.
The right-handed batter looks at the limited-overs tour of England as a fresh start after their silver medal-winning effort in Birmingham, where they beat England en route to the gold medal clash. "We have done really well in the CWG but now it's a new start for us. England have always done well against us. For us it will be very challenging. (But) CWG has given us a lot of confidence," Harmanpreet said.
India is in England on a two-week white-ball tour that comprises six white-ball games -- three T20Is and as many ODIs. The T20s will be held in Hove (September 10), Derby (September 13), and Bristol (September 15), while the ODIs are scheduled at Hove (September 18), Canterbury (September 21), and the Lord's (September 24). England will be without their stand-in captain Nat Sciver, who has withdrawn from the series to "focus on her mental health".
But Harmanpreet said England still has enough firepower to challenge India. "She (Sciver) is missing the game, but still they have a very good side, and I think if we have to beat them, we will have to play very good cricket. "Last 10 days gave us enough time to prepare ourselves. We are looking in good shape, and now it is time to go there and execute. It is very important for us to stay in the moment," she said.
Asked about mental fatigue, which players go through nowadays due to constant cricket, Harmanpreet feels a cricketer should take a sabbatical from the game when chips are down. "Ups and downs are part of life, so when things are not going your way, it's better to take a break than pushing too hard. Whenever we are faced with such a situation as a team we try to help that player.
"The last time when I was going through these things, playing back-to-back cricket, I took a break after CWG. Playing back-to-back cricket takes a toll on your mental health."