Focus shifts to T20 format as India braces for Asia Cup

India will be a happier group to have the services of Jemimah Rodrigues who missed out on the England series due to a wrist injury.

Published: 30th September 2022 07:21 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th September 2022 08:27 PM   |  A+A-

Harmanpreet Kaur

India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The analysis and opinion pieces are still coming. Podcasts and videos are being published, not to mention the buzz in social media on the side stories and nuances around what happened at Lord’s last Saturday. As the debates continue, the Indian women have moved on from the run out of England’s Charlie Dean by Deepti Sharma at the non-striker’s end. Not just physically, but mentally as well.

India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur said as much as they are all set to take on Sri Lanka in their opening game of the Asia Cup that begins in Sylhet, Bangladesh on Saturday. “The most important thing is to play within the rules. Whatever we did was very much in the rules. Whatever happened, it was not part of the plan but it has happened, we need to move on,” said Harmanpreet in the pre-tournament press conference on Friday.

At some level, it is also important to move on from the discussion as the focus shifts to the shortest format and India’s preparation for the 2023 T20 World Cup. Till June next year, there are no one-day internationals in their schedule. They will play the Asia Cup, followed by the senior domestic T20 tournament, a five-match T20I series at home against Australia in December and a tri-series involving hosts and West Indies just before the marquee event in South Africa.

During the CWG and the England tour, they have often stuck to playing XI through the series without testing the bench strength. For example, Sabbineni Meghana, who has been a part of every squad since the New Zealand tour (World Cup as a standby), has played just two T20Is throughout her time in England. That the seven-team event in Bangladesh will be played in the round-robin format with the top two teams progressing to the semifinals means India will get to play a maximum of eight games.

ALSO READ | 'It wasn't part of plan but was very much within rules'': Harmanpreet on controversial runout

This is why the team management is keen on giving opportunities to those who have not gotten enough game time so far. "Definitely, there are a lot of areas where we want to work on as a team. Especially, how we are going to use the first six overs (while batting). We will try to shuffle our middle order so that others can also get some time. In the last overs also, we have some hard hitters, so if we can give them enough chances... In our bowling, we will try different combinations. This tournament is important for us, it's a great platform where players who haven't got chances can come and perform. If they perform here, they can get a lot of confidence going into the World Cup," said the 33-year-old.

India will be a happier group to have the services of Jemimah Rodrigues who missed out on the England series due to a wrist injury. Harmanpreet said that the batter is fit and looked comfortable while batting in the nets. The Indian skipper also backed Shafali Verma to end her rough patch soon. “She is working hard every day. This is a platform where you can express yourself and play free cricket. We will try to give her enough match time so that she can get her confidence back."

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