“We picked Ajinkya Rahane’s brain on how to bat in the longer format:” says Harmanpreet Kaur

Indian women’s team is all set to take on England in a one-off Test beginning June 16. Ahead of the big test, Harmanpreet Kaur in a virtual press conference on Monday revealed that the team picked men’s Test team vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane’s brain and took some tips on how to bat in the longest format.


Indian women cricketers Harmanpreet Kaur, Jhulan Goswami, Mithali Raj and Smriti Mandhana (L-R) at the unveiling of the team's new Test kit ahead of England Test. (PTI)
Indian women cricketers Harmanpreet Kaur, Jhulan Goswami, Mithali Raj and Smriti Mandhana (L-R) at the unveiling of the team’s new Test kit ahead of England Test. (PTI)

“I have not played much of red-ball cricket, I have played just two Tests. This time we got a chance to speak to Ajinkya Rahane, we picked his brain on how to bat in the longer format, mentally we are prepared,” said Harmanpreet.

The Indian men’s team is currently in England for the final of the World Test Championship against the Black Caps beginning June 18 at Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

She later added, “Even in the nets, we try to be in the right frame of mind. When you are happy, you play good cricket. We try to play to our strengths. We had an easy and friendly talk with Rahane, he is very experienced, we had a chance to talk to him and we did exactly that.”

Talking about the conditions in Bristol and if the teen sensation Shafali will play, she said, “We have just arrived at Bristol now, playing XI I cannot discuss. We always want Shafali Verma to play, she is someone who can dominate. We have not had the chance to see the wicket.”

“I know we did not get much time to prepare, we did not get enough time to practice but as players, we need to adapt. Wickets in England are different, today and tomorrow, we need to do the needful to prepare ourselves,” she said.

Further praising Shafali Varma, Harmanpreet said, “We have not tinkered with Shafali’s game, if you talk about her technique then she can get disturbed because she is just 17, everyone tries to make the atmosphere nice for her, she was looking great at the nets.”

When asked about the impact of an experienced player like Jhulan Goswami being in the team for this test, she said, “Well, Jhulan is someone who always takes the lead, she is always special for us. She will always give us breakthroughs whenever we need them. In Tests, you need breakthroughs, and you need someone who can deliver the wickets. I think she will be fantastic in this Test match as well,”

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India welcomed former cricketer Ramesh Powar as their coach again from this series. Talking about him, Harmanpreet said, “Head coach Ramesh Powar is someone who is always involved in the game, when you talk to him, you feel like you are playing a match. With him, I always get lots of information about the game,”

This Test match will be India’s first red-ball match after almost seven long years. After the one-off Test, India and England will square off in 3 ODIs starting from June 27 in Bristol, Taunton, and Worchester. After the 50 over format, women in Blue then will compete in a 3 T20Is series starting July 9 in Northampton, Hove, and Chelmsford. The series will conclude on July 14.

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