India Women’s Test and ODI skipper Mithali Raj has backed senior batter Harmanpreet Kaur to get among the runs soon. Kaur, who is the one-day vice-captain, will take over the reins of the team for the T20I series.
The aggressive stroke-maker has struggled on the tour of England so far. After scoring 4 and 8 in the one-off Test in Bristol, Kaur ended the ODI series with 1, 19 and 16 in the three matches.
Mithali, however, expressed confidence over Kaur finding her touch soon. Speaking after India Women’s consolation win in the third ODI in Worcester, the skipper stated:
"It does happen with any player. Sometimes you're just not in form. But as a team and as a unit we back players who have been match-winners. We also know that single-handedly she has won games for us with her innings. This time around she needs the support of the team to back her.”
The 38-year-old opined that the upcoming T20Is, a format in which Kaur is very dangerous, could help her rediscover her batting rhythm. Mithali added:
"It's just a matter of one innings for a batter like her to get (back) her rhythm and timing. I'm sure with the T20 format, a format that suits her game, I really hope she will be back among the runs."
Mithali top-scored with an unbeaten 75 off 86 balls to guide India Women to a four-wicket win in a chase of 220 in the third ODI on Saturday. Kaur was dismissed for 16 off 38, trapped lbw by Heather Knight. Her dismissal left India Women in a spot of bother at 131 for 4. However, a cameo of 24 in 22 balls from Sneh Rana helped Mithali in getting the team over the line.
I'm sure the girls will do well in the T20 format: Mithali Raj
Mithali, who retired from T20Is a couple of years back, expressed confidence that the Kaur-led team will do well in the shortest format of the game. She also admitted that the win in the 3rd ODI is a definite confidence-booster for India Women heading into the T20I series. Mithali stated:
"Yes, it is (a confidence-booster). because that's what I told the girls, I said - we're still in the series. Winning a game like this puts pressure on them. Getting into the T20s, the entire unit should be confident. If they go on to win the first two games and then the last would be a decider and clearly the series will be excitedly placed. Yes, I'm sure that the girls will do well in the T20 format.”
The first T20I of the three-match series between India Women and England Women will be played in Northampton on July 9.