Indian women eye T20 World Cup glory

India's best showing at a World T20 has been semifinal appearances in 2009 and 2010.

Harmanpreet Kaur: "The batsmen and bowlers were told to be ready to play in any position during the World Cup."   -  special arrangement

India Women's team captain Harmanpreet Kaur, on Saturday, stressed the importance of adaptability on Caribbean pitches, while coach, Ramesh Powar, emphasised the need to create a group of match-winners ahead of the ICC World T20 Women’s World Cup next month.

Harmanpreet and Powar were answering questions on preparations and team outlook before flying off to West Indies for the event.

India's best showing at a World T20 has been semifinal appearances in 2009 and 2010. The team was scheduled to play a bilateral T20I series against West Indies in St. Kitts, but it was cancelled after the WICB cited financial constraints. 

The alternative was a three-match T20 series against Australia A at home. India won the series 3-0.  Harmanpreet said, “We tried out players in different positions during the matches (against Australia A). The batsmen and bowlers were told to be ready to play in any position during the World Cup.”

The squad, which is a mix of youngsters and experienced campaigners, will miss the services of fast bowler Jhulan Goswami, who retired from T20Is with the World T20 less than three months away.

Asked to comment on Jhulan's absence, Powar, who replaced Tushar Arothe as coach, replied, “We are not here to create leaders. We worked towards creating match-winners so that in future every player should get the confidence that she can win a match on her own.”

He also asserted women’s cricket has evolved, resulting in fearless young players who are adept at handling pressure. “Youngsters react differently when faced with a pressure situation. This team is working towards dominance. We will work together to dominate at the World Cup; the players are not going to just take part.”

India is placed in Group B along with Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Pakistan. India's matches are on: Nov 9 (NZ), Nov 11 (Pak), Nov 15 (Ire), Nov 17 (Aus). The tournament will be held from Nov 9-24 and feature 10 sides.  

Indian team: Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Mithali Raj, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy, Deepti Sharma, Tanya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav,  Ekta Bisht, Anuja Patil, D Hemalatha, Mansi Joshi, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy. Coach: Ramesh Powar.