India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur has indicated that Women’s Asia Cup beginning in Sylhet, Bagladesh on Saturday will be a lot about giving game time to the less experienced players as the team prepares for the T20 World Cup early next year.
The likes of D. Hemalatha and Kiran Navgire were tried out in the preceding series in England but could not make an impact. Jemimah Rodrigues has recovered from a wrist injury that ruled her out of England series and is expected to play as opener against Sri Lanka on Saturday.
Opener Shafali Verma is another one under the scanner following a dismal run in England. The team however goes into the tournament high on confidence having beaten England 3-0 in the ODIs.
“A lot of T20s are coming up ahead of the World Cup. Players who have not got enough chances can also get match time before the World Cup. There are lot of areas we can work on. We are going to see if somebody else can get a chance in the first six overs and players can also be tried out in the middle overs and death overs.
“Bowling also we need to try for the right team combination. Jemi is fine, she batted in the nets today,” said Harmanpreet while also providing a fitness update on Jemimah.
The T20 World Cup will be played in South Africa in February next year.
She also backed 18-year-old Shafali to get back amongst the runs.
“She is doing really well in the nets. Sometimes you are not able to carry that form in the middle. You need to spend some time in the middle and I am sure she will get her form back. Asia Cup will be a great platform for her.
“We will try to give her enough matches to get her confidence back.”
Harmanpreet, however, has been batting at her best of late and smashed a memorable 143 not out off 111 balls in England. The India skipper said she is enjoying the added responsibility as the leader of the side.
On a rare series win in England, she said the team’s long term plans are finally bearing fruit.
“When we went to England we wanted to play good cricket. Practice sessions were calculative. We did not think of creating any history and our plans were good and the results came, we have waited for it for a long time, so we were not surprised.
“The last couple of months, the way we played as team everyone was helping each other. We need to keep doing that to get the results. Watching videos and making plans of the opposition was helpful. We got enough data for all teams here as well,” she added.