India captain Harmanpreet Kaur feels the pitches and windy conditions in the West Indies will throw a different set of challenges for players during next month’s ICC Women’s World T20. “Wind is a big factor in the West Indies. It doesn’t just affect high catches, it makes a difference as a captain, bowler and batter,” Kaur wrote in a column for ICC.
“We have to think about which end to use which bowler from, and from which end which shot makes more sense. That’s one of the things we will have in our plans going into this tournament.”
Talking about the conditions, Kaur said: “The Caribbean has some very unique conditions, and we will be playing those as much as the opposition. Judging by scores in their local tournaments, the pitches seem to be a bit on the slower side.
“All of our matches are in the afternoon, so dew should not be a factor for us as much, but if it’s there, there may be a bit of grip in the evening.”
Kaur said expectations have increased back home after India’s thrilling final against England at the ICC World Cup last year and hoped her team will put up another good show at the World T20.
“The ICC Women’s World T20 2018 is the first ICC tournament after the World Cup 2017, so I think a lot more Indians will be following our team. It’s a good feeling. Now the expectations will also increase, but that’s good for the team as well,” she wrote.
“In the past, we would see a few teams dominate others in T20 cricket. Now every team has two or three hitters who can change the game at any moment. You just can’t take anyone lightly.
“So I think the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 will be a good tournament, and an important tournament, especially for India. If we play well as a team, we can hope for a good performance like last year,” she said.
The big-hitting Indian batter, who is ranked sixth among batters in the ICC Women’s T20I Rankings, feels there are no favourites to win the World T20 title this year.
“All the teams have done well in the last two to three years, so there isn’t really a top-three anymore,” she said.
“We will have to give our 100 percent every game. We can’t take it easy, there are no games we can try anything in. It is going to be about playing our best XI every time, and taking things game by game.”
Talking about India’s series in Sri Lanka, Kaur said: “We had a good series in Sri Lanka, where we got a chance to back some of our younger players.
“It was important to give them the freedom in that series, give them every opportunity. When a player is young, it’s important to back them up, especially bowlers in the T20 format, where they are always under pressure.
“The focus was very much on the bowling on that tour, and I’m glad to see how the girls responded. Our coach Ramesh (Powar) sir has done a great job with the bowlers.
(With PTI Inputs)