India T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur said in a recent interview with Mumbai Mirror that there has been no problem between her and India ODI captain Mithali Raj.
Harmanpreet Kaur denied the reports of a rift with Mithali Raj saying that she had no problems with her and she always respected the veteran.
“I have met [Mithali] and spoken to her after all these events and we seemed to have moved on. I don’t think there has been any problem between me and Mithali. I can speak for myself. You have to speak to her and ask if she has a problem with me,” Harmanpreet told Mumbai Mirror.
India’s semi-final exit after losing by 8 wickets against Australia from the first stand-alone tournament ICC Women’s World T20 last year made a big controversy as the most experienced Mithali Raj was dropped from the playing XI. Where Mithali Raj claimed of coach Ramesh Powar’s poor treatment, their coach Ramesh Powar said that he found Mithali “aloof and difficult to handle.”
While talking about this, Kaur said that a team is like a family and sometimes these troubles can happen as well but these shouldn’t be taken personally.
“When you play at an international level, you are mature enough to not let these things affect you. At the end of the day, what matters is you are playing for your country. A team is like a family where there are troubles and such issues keep cropping up, but they shouldn’t be taken personally,” she added.
When she was asked about what happened in the West Indies and how the team reacted after the incident, Harmanpreet said that the issues were not highlighted so much. Moreover, she thinks when the team is doing well on a certain path, then everyone has to think on that way only.
“No player is bigger than the team. When a team is doing well, all the members have to think on these lines only. I still feel that the situation should not have come to this but sometimes such things happen. I don’t think the issues should have been highlighted so much. But everyone has their personal views and I won’t comment on that.”
Harmanpreet Kaur explained how Ramesh Powar has changed the situation. Under Powar’s coaching, India lost only 2 matches out of 13 matches including ODIs and T20Is within the three months.
“Earlier our team was too dependent on senior players. The thinking was that the senior players had to take all the workload. But during the recent ICC T20 World Cup, coach Ramesh Powar told all of us that each and every player in the team is not only equal but equally important. He met all the players individually and gave clear message to them. In the three earlier editions of the T20 World Cup before this one in West Indies, we were not able to reach even the semis. After those chats, the players realised their importance. These one-on-one sessions went a long way in how we performed.”
“But of course, there are areas where we are lagging. Like we are starting tournaments well but are not able to win tournaments. I think we are lacking a bit of mental stability during the knock-out phases. We have to work on this area specifically if we want to win big tournaments,” Harmanpreet further added.
The result of the Mithali Raj-Ramesh Power public spat led to the appointment of the new coach of the women’s team; where WV Raman appointed as the new head coach. While talking about that, Harmanpreet said that she knows Raman and is looking forward to working with him. Raman’s first assignment with Indian Women’s Cricket Team will be the upcoming New Zealand tour which is scheduled to be played from January 24, 2019. The tour is comprised of 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is.
“I had met Raman sir at the National Cricket Academy a couple of times. I know he comes with a lot of experience. I have heard from several people about Raman sir’s technical and tactical acumen. I think these things will help the team.”
India T20 captain was recently named the captain of the ICC T20I Team of the Year 2018 for her swashbuckling performance throughout the year. While asking about how it felt, she told she was happy.
“I am really happy about it. To be honest, I had never thought about it. I had always wanted the team to do well in the T20 format. We were doing well in the 50-over game but this year we have done well in the T20 format also. This reward is both recognition of how well the team has done and also a motivation for the future,” Harmanpreet expressed.
Kaur is currently in Australia, playing in the Women’s Big Bash League. She further said that it’s time to start a T20 league in India as well, where younger players will get the chance to showcase their talent.
“You have to create the depth (in talent). This can’t be used as an excuse to not have a women’s T20 league in India. Even if we don’t have (it now), one day we will have to make a start somewhere. You can’t be waiting for a day when other nations have reached a level where it becomes impossible to catch them. It’s important that we start a league at the earliest so that young players get a chance to rub shoulders with overseas players. This will help increase the confidence,” she said.
Moreover, she said that she has followed the Under-19 tournament. There are few girls who have been performing consistently and have the potential to do big in future.
“I followed a bit of the Under-19 tournament this year and some girls were really impressive. Now they are looking for a platform. The earlier we get a league going in India, the better it will be. For the first few years it would not be right to have too many expectations. But I can guarantee that improvement will be there with each passing year,” Kaur confidently told.