Sri Lanka series is an opportunity for us to address some issues: Harmanpreet Kaur
In the pre-match press conference ahead of the first T20I in Dambulla on Thursday, June 23, India’s skipper Harmanpreet Kaur mentioned that the side looks at the three-match T20I series against hosts Sri Lanka as a wonderful opportunity to address some issues where the Indian team has been found wanting recently.
Kaur wants to use the three-match T20I series to improve on India’s batting and fielding woes that have been plaguing the side for quite some time now.
“There have been numerous instances in the past where we have failed or rather struggled to create a momentum after losing quick wickets upfront. It has been a major concern for us. We need to keep targetting a big total despite losing early wickets and this series will be a good opportunity for us to do the same.”
“We also need to lift our fielding standard. The girls are really working hard towards it. Our fielding coach has been working in tandem with the players and we are trying to work on every minute aspect possible.”
With four openers in the T20 squad currently, it would be a tough ask for Kaur and the team management to provide equal opportunities to all of them opening the innings. But Kaur mentioned that they (Head Coach and herself) have spoken to the players and they (openers) are willing to bat at any slot if presented with an opportunity.
“We do have three to four openers but when you come in to the Indian team you need to wait for the opportunities and grab whatever comes your way. Our coach and I have spoken to the players about being ready for the opportunities that come their way. The batters are willing to bat at any number and that’s what you want from your batting unit.”
Kaur also talked about the inclusion of Jemimah Rodrigues in the squad and told that the 21-year-old batter is very willing to make the most of the opportunity.
“She is someone who is very experienced. I know she was not there in the 50-over World Cup but she is someone who has done really well in the T20Is. I think she is ready to grab the opportunities that come her way.”
The skipper also touched upon managing the workload of ace all rounder Pooja Vastrakar as she has been constantly doing well for the team in all the three departments.
“She is someone who gives her dead level best on the field and you always need to take care of such players as they always run the risk of getting injured. We have been very careful with her and will keep her workload flexible in the lead up to the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.”