Navi Mumbai, Jan 10: Former India captain Anjum Chopra thinks skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, who suffered a slump in form in the series against Australia, needed some time to recover after playing in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), but she didn’t get that.
Harmanpreet began with making 26 off 21 balls in the T20I series opener against England, before recording two single-digit scores. She then scored 49 and 44 not out in the one-off Test against England, before a slump in form saw her record six single digit scores in the all-format series against Australia, which ended in a seven-wicket defeat for India in the decider.
“I always look at things positively. I try to find areas where we challenged them wholeheartedly. Because we won the 1st T20I, there were expectations that we would do similarly well in the remaining games. But that didn’t happen. Harmanpreet batted will in the Test against England. She was a little subdued in the ODIs.
“If you look at her last 10 innings, the scores are not impressive. In between she played the WBBL. I feel she needed some time to recover and that didn’t happen. I saw exhaustion in her. Having said that, she is the captain of the team and the expectations are high from her. So, she needs to continue working hard," said Anjum in an episode of ‘#AAKASHVANI’ on JioCinema.
Talking of how India’s batting form nosedived in the defeats in second and third T20Is, Anjum said it came down to lack of consistency from the batting department. “Even in the first T20I, I don’t think that the batting was too convincing. Because India won that game and both openers scored fifties, we felt that the batting was very good.”
“We speak about the lack of consistency in India’s performance and that’s an issue with India’s batting too. If you look at Shafali Verma since she made her debut, there have been improvements, but have these improvements been so visible that we can talk about them? There’s a question mark here.
“Smriti Mandhana being out of form and being blocked in the same areas that Australia did and what she did to improve, or Harmanpreet Kaur’s form. In totality, we were not at all convincing in the second T20I. In the third game, by the time we found out who could score at pace, the 20 overs were done with."
With the second edition of WPL set to happen in February-March window, Anjum sees the tournament as an opportunity for the Indian players to showcase improvement in talent. "Hopefully, they will do well. The Australian players already know the Indian conditions well now and are improving on the go. So, the expectation is that even the Indian talent will show improvement.
"Saika Ishaque had a very good WPL last year, but when she came to the Indian team, she looked the opposite. So that bridge between domestic cricket and international cricket is very big. At least for the Indian players." (IANS)