After a few years’ absences, the T20 Women’s Asia Cup has marked its return and this time around is set to feature 7 teams in the tournament that’s scheduled to be played from the 1st to the 15th of October at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium and the Sylhet Outer Cricket Stadium in Bangladesh.
The tournament will see 7 teams in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, UAE and hosts Bangladesh feature during the league. The tournament in its curtains raiser, on the 1st of October, will see defending champions, Bangladesh play Thailand and later in the day, the tournament’s most successful team with 6 successive title wins, India play Sri Lanka.
India recently returned from their successful tour of England and in a quick turnaround, find themselves in Bangladesh for the T20 Asia Cup. Skipper, Harmanpreet Kaur addressed the media before the start of the tournament and below is a brief on the same.
On the aspects of the game, the side is focusing on during the Asia Cup, Harmanpreet Kaur replied, “Our first target will be giving enough chances to other players who’ve not go so far. Definitely, there are a lot of areas we want to work on as a team. Especially, how we are going to use the first six overs and in the middle order we’ll try to shuffle the batting order so that other person also gets some time.
“In the last overs also we’ll look to give enough chance to hard-hitters and bowling combination also we’ll try different team combinations. So, I think a lot of areas where we can worm in as a team and we are looking forward to that.”
Harmanpreet Kaur on being asked about Jemimah Rodrigues’ fitness said, “She’s back. She’s fit and fine. Today she batted in the nets and she was looking absolutely fine to me.”
On being asked about what kind of changes have come in her (Harmanpreet Kaur) as a person that she’s the best teammate and the best captain, got Harmanpreet Kaur saying, “I think more of that is responsibility. Ever since I’ve played cricket, I’ve enjoyed the responsibility and now that I’ve got the opportunity to lead the team, I think that’s the biggest responsibility and I’m enjoying that. Above all, when your group, BCCI, selectors are appreciating and when the groups together, working as a team, good results do come.”
Harmanpreet Kaur on whether a 3-0 clean sweep in England, including the win at Lord’s, is by far the best moment of her career and on what that means replied, “We just wanted to play good cricket. Our net session and practice were all very calculative. Everything was planned and we were working towards something and when we are doing the process, results automatically will come. We are not surprised with what we’ve done.”
Deepti Sharma’s Mankad to Charlie Dean has created a loud buzz on social media and elsewhere, Harmanpreet Kaur on the same said, “We have already discussed a lot. I don’t think we have to just keep discussing things again and again. It was part of the game and whatever happened has happened. Now we have to look forward. I think, if I talk on the English tour, it was a team performance. Whoever got the chance to perform, they did well.”
On Shafali Verma’s poor run, Harmanpreet Kaur said, “All net session so far, she’s doing really well. Net’s she’s looking really really good. She’ll spend some time in the middle and will go through this patch. She’s working hard every day and we’ll give her enough game time for her to gain confidence.”
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Harmanpreet Kaur when was asked to set the record straight if India had warmed Charlie Dean, she said, “Whatever has happened, we were noticing these things from the last couple of games – she was taking long strides. I think it was her (Deepti Sharma) awareness, that she was noticing and we were discussing these things. But it was not in our plan that we will get out like that. Everybody was there to win the game, whenever you’re on the ground you want to win the game and most importantly we played within the rules. Whatever happened wasn’t our plan and whatever has happened has happened and now I think it’s enough (bahut discussion ho gaya) now we just need to move on.”
On positives from recently concluded India’s tour of England, Harmanpreet Kaur said, “Last few months, the way we played with unity, everyone’s going through plans, we’ll carry that on as that’s given us results. We have been watching videos and making plans, we’ll do that again and we should feel we are ready to play.”
India’s recently concluded tour of England was Jhulan Goswami’s farewell series and on being questioned about what she (Jhulan) has advised the team, Harmanpreet Kaur said, “She spent 20-30 minutes with us after the England series where she talked shared her experience, what’s she’s expecting from us and the areas to improve on. We as a team like to improve and we’ll execute ourselves in a better way. So many areas we discussed we her and would like to improve on them.”