Tribute to Harmanpreet Kaur

Dev Tyagi
New Update
Perhaps it is a bit of a misappropriation on the part of viewers and followers of the women’s game to suggest that Harmanpreet lives by a simple philosophy: see the ball, hit the ball.


Wouldn’t that be confining her enormous potential in a limited paradigm of being a boisterous hitter of the ball? When she is so much more.


Especially when you attempt to understand that with nearly 2200 ODI runs, the highest ever-individual world cup score of 171* and a very healthy average of 37, Harmanpreet Kaur’s judicious accumulation of runs has more to do with her ability to bat timeout instead of just whacking the cricket ball.


Or should it be submitted that being a self-confessed fan of Sehwag and his no-nonsense brand of batting has blurred the reality of Kaur’s admirers who’ve curtailed their vision about a truly enigmatic cricketer. Who is as charismatic in the middle as she is dutiful about her services to the team.


Cricket, it ought to be said, rests a special love for impact players.


You have the Smriti Mandhana’s- who plunder attacks from the word go, you have the Mithali Raj’s who express both-ways, fluently and with restraint and then you have Harmanpreet Kaur’s whose impact stems from her ability to do both and with enormous impact.


If there’s an inning that truly showcased Kaur’s grit and temerity and perhaps a glimpse of her completeness in great magnitude then it would have to be her unbeaten 171 against Australia in 2017’s ICC Women’s World Cup semi’s. While besotted fans submerged in euphoria of India’s triumph mostly remember the last two columns in the scoreboard of that heroic effort that state- 7 sixes and a strike rate of 148, there was so much more about Kaur’s effort that explains her character.


Good players sense an opportunity to contribute but great players sense the sensitivity of the situation in which to contribute.


Didn’t Harmanpreet do exactly the same in guarding herself against the fiery pace of Schutt and warding off the threat of Gardner on a seemingly slow surface, exploding into big strokes, only later when an opportunity came about wherein she went after Villani and Beams, having taken her team to a bit of safety?


Of the many things that youngsters ought to learn from Harmanpreet would most certainly boil down to her big match potential. On Harmanpreet’s watch, India seems safe and authoritative, at the same time. It is a unique stroke of fortune that must be savored. And possibly made use of as judiciously as possible.


Die-hard fans would keenly await the many promises of forthcoming battles, seeing a Sushma Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma batting around with Kaur in inching India closer to the possibilities of so many triumphs.


That said, while surely there’s a streak of madness in Harmanpreet’s game, as she pounces on loose deliveries, expressing disdain from the bat, there’s also the fabric of stickiness in her game that warrants herself to commit to the wicket. Her talent has justly rewarded her with noticeable stints in big leagues like the Women’s Big Bash League, an enormously entertaining crossover journey for an Indian cricketer.


Kaur dutifully responded when picked for Sydney Thunder in 2017 by scoring a prolific 296 runs at a sparkling average of 59, including a strike rate of 117 in season two of the enterprising cricket league in Australia.


At 29, with a ton of experience behind her, Kaur is neither an emerging talent nor exactly close to the last spark of peaking, with many cricketing summers left in her. That is not only a great time to be part of a unit that is growing each day but also being in the women’s game that is finally picking attention even from bastions that had ignored its impact in haste.


Here’s to many more memorable performances in the future.