“Opportunity To Take Women’s Cricket High”: India Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur

Without hiding her desire to see more Tests being played in women’s cricket space, captain Harmanpreet Kaur on Wednesday admitted that India will have to play a lead role to make it a reality through consistent performances. After a gap of nearly nine years, India will be playing a Test at home when they take on England in a one-off match at the DY Patil Stadium. India’s last Test at home took place in November 2014 against South Africa at Mysore. “Talking about women’s cricket, it is improving day-by-day In India. A lot of people are coming to watch the match which we saw in the last T20Is,” Kaur told the media on the eve of the match.

“Everyone in the world…they want to play in India. In India, things are changing quickly when it comes to cricket. A lot of people are extending their love and we are also trying to improve. We have an opportunity to take women’s cricket as high as we can.

“I know that a lot hinges on the Indian cricket team when it comes to women’s cricket. The way the approach is changing in India concerning women’s cricket, obviously, we have a lot in our hands,” Kaur added.

With India making a return to the Test arena after September 2021, Kaur said as players they desire to appear in more long-format matches but the administrators have to make the final call.

“As players we want to play more and more Test games. It is ICC and (the) board’s call to take up,” she said.

Kaur said she was feeling better after twisting her foot in the third T20I against England.

“There was a little bit of soreness but I am feeling better now,” Kaur said.

Kaur said the switch between white and the red ball formats, given there was only a three-day break between the T20Is and the Test, would be challenging for the players.

“I know, after (playing) white ball cricket it will be a little challenging. The bowling unit got 10-15 days to prepare. They understood how the red ball behaves. As batting and bowling units we have tried to cover up as much as we could,” she said.

Kaur said changing the mindset quickly would be beneficial.

“We want to play positive cricket and that is something that we have discussed in the team meeting as well. It is all about (the) mind game.

We cannot keep thinking that we played a Test match two years ago and some girls are new in the side. The only change is that the (colour of) the ball has changed but the approach will be the same,” she said.

“The field placements and bowling can be attacking and we have discussed about winning the sessions too. Hopefully, whatever we have prepared in the last two days, we will be able to execute it in the middle,” she said.

Kaur admitted to feeling ‘butterflies in the stomach’ as this will be the first time she would be leading the country in Tests.

“Butterflies are always there, no matter how much you have played. There is always excitement and nervousness when you go to the ground. When you play one ball, you get totally involved in the game,” she said.

“(The) last Test I missed because of injury and this time there is an opportunity to lead the team. The talk has been about being positive and playing with excitement,” Kaur added.

With domestic stalwart Amol Muzumdar in charge as head coach, Kaur said his message to the players has been simple — stick with their respective games.

“The best thing he said was, go with your best batting style and don’t think about changing it because it is red-ball cricket,” she said.

“If you are an aggressive batter, play aggressively. If you like to build your innings, then do that. You need not think about too many things,” she added.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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