India‘s T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur has said that improvements in fielding, fitness and fast bowlers’ pool are the major areas where they need to work on as the 2021 50-overs World Cup is not far away. Kaur, who led India in the T20 World Cup campaign in Australia, also accepted that they are “5-6 years behind” from mighty Australia and England.
“Now the players are getting more aware about being fit and following the right daily routines,” Kaur told Mumbai Mirror. “The things we have grasped in the last two-three years, England and Australia have been doing from long before.”
“Definitely we are five-six years behind them in these aspects,” she added. “But now girls have understood their responsibility towards being fit. Earlier there used to be a huge difference between a domestic player and what is expected at the international level. But now some 30 girls are given individual programme by the BCCI.”
“So when one of them is picked for India, she is not clueless about what is expected of her. As we keep improving our domestic level, the performances at the international level will improve. That is why I said we are five-six years behind these teams because our domestic set-up is not as good as it should be,” she further shared.
However, India failed to do well in the T20 World Cup final as they lost to Australia, in Kaur’s opinion it’s fitness and not skills which separate them from the teams like Australia and England.
“Just the fitness. In these two countries fitness is part of their culture. Unfortunately, in India we start these things late,” Harmanpreet Kaur told The Week. “For the last three years, the girls have been working hard on fitness. It does not improve overnight, we need to work on it for longer durations. Earlier, we would come close to these teams and lose, but now we are winning matches against them. Skill-wise we are better batters and bowlers than these two countries.”
As a captain, Harmanpreet Kaur had a good show but as a batter, she has been going through a rough patch. At the T20 World Cup, she has managed to scores of 2, 8, 1, 15 and 4. It’s been more than 16 months that she hit a fifty in T20Is while her fifty against South Africa in February 2018, remains her last ODI half-century as well.
“From outside it may look like that, but personally I have never felt so,” she said when she was asked on the captaincy. “I really enjoy this part. I feel more involved. The captaincy keeps me alert all the time. Earlier, I used to think about my performance alone. Captaincy has made me a better person. [ Now,] I cannot think only about myself, but [have to think] of other things, too.”