The Indian women’s cricket team will start as one of the title contenders ahead of the commencement of the T20 World Cup slated to be played in Australia from 21st February. The side has a good blend of youth and experience but will be missing the services of Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami, who have been massive contributors to the side's success over the years.
However, Indian skipper, Harmanpreet Kaur feels that the current team has grown by leaps and bounds and will be one of the favourites for the mega event despite the absence of the two stalwarts. While Mithali Raj called it quits from T20 cricket last year, Goswami last played in this format way back in 2018.
Speaking at the captain’s media day at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Harmanpreet Kaur said,
"We already miss the experience they share with us, but these young girls and showing their talent and ability. In the last two years. I've gone from being the youngest one to one of the oldest in the team," she said.
"They (her teammates) never show us that they're young, they can always do what we expect of them. The team is looking in really good shape and showing what they can do with extra responsibility.”
India will start their T20 World Cup campaign against hosts Australia on 21st February. The Indian eves have played an impressive brand of cricket in the recent past but have failed to seize their opportunities at crucial junctures of the game.
Their middle and lower-middle order looks brittle which was on display during the recently concluded tri-series in Australia in which they won a match each against England and Australia to book a spot in the summit clash. However, when it mattered the most, India faltered and surrendered the final against the hosts despite being in a commanding position.
India were within touching distance of winning their first ICC trophy in 2017 and Harmanpreet Kaur is yet to get over the disappointment. From a commanding position, India went on to lose the final against England by 9 runs. Harmanpreet said that the team is growing each day and will look to come out all guns blazing in the T20 World Cup.
"Our team is growing day by day, everyone is looking so positive. It's going to be very big if we win, I was very surprised at all the reaction from 2017. My parents didn't tell me, they didn't want us to feel the pressure. If we win, it's going to be very big for us. We will try to give our best."
Meanwhile, Harmanpreet Kaur is well aware of the fact that winning the T20 World Cup could be a huge moment in Indian women's cricket. If the top 4 of the Indian batting line-up fire for a majority of the tournament, the Indian team will be strong contenders to lift their maiden ICC trophy.
"Over the last two years, we have already had a few games as part of the Women's T20 Challenge and this year we are looking forward to more. If we win the World Cup, there's no doubt things will change. That tournament would bring a lot of confidence to the girls.
Harmanpreet signed off by mentioning that a women's IPL could also do the side a world of good.
"If we get a women's IPL that will be really good for us. If we win the World Cup, it's going to be very big for us as a team, so we will try to give our best," she said.