Captained by Harmanpreet Kaur, the Indian women’s team made it to the T20 World Cup final. India played great cricket throughout the playoffs and won all of their games. It is one of the main reasons why they progressed to the finals despite the washed out semi.
Kaur Not Dwelling On T20 World Cup Loss
Harmanpreet Kaur and her team for once had 1.3 billion Indians talking about them and not their male counterparts. They knew they were just one game short of creating history and winning the prestigious T20 World Cup. All they had to do was beat hosts Australia. That would have permanently changed the face of women’s cricket in India.
It wasn’t to be; India faltered on the big stage and were completely outplayed in all departments. India ended up losing by 85 runs in what was a one sided contest much to the disappointment of Indian cricket fans. Harmanpreet Kaur had a very poor tournament by her standards but put up a brave face and looked at the positives that the team was able to achieve during the T20 World Cup.
The Indian captain said that during the last couple of weeks she has not focused on the loss but has put it behind her and encouraged the team do just that.
India Behind Australia and England, Feels Kaur
While Kaur is not looking at the past, she is quick to acknowledge that there is a big gap between India and the other top teams like Australia and England. She believes that the standard of women’s domestic cricket in India is about 5 years behind Australia and England. She believes that the BCCI will need to invest more and do more with the domestic standard if they are going to see an improvement in the Indian women’s cricket team.
Fitness – Key Issue
Kaur has made things easy for the BCCI by pointing out what she thinks is the biggest weakness in the team at the moment. The Indian captain says the current standard of fitness needs to be improved significantly, especially at the domestic level.
The BCCI needs to put together a program where domestic players are educated on nutrition and the fitness regime they need to follow. Kaur says the current set of players that represent the country are a lot fitter than the domestic players because they are able to attend the fitness program sponsored by the BCCI. This program is currently limited to just 30 cricketers.
Kaur says that health and fitness play a big role in the cricketing culture of England and Australia. Hence their players are at a different level. Indian players have the skills to match Australia and England; but however, they do not have the fitness standards to be on the same level.
BCCI Must Establish Long Term Program
Harmanpreet Kaur says that the BCCI must look at investing and putting together a long term fitness program. Kaur believes that this program has to be for a minimum of 2 to 3 years; as it is difficult to get proper results when a program is run for a short duration. She hopes that her points of view are considered by the BCCI and addressed.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly was not known for his fitness and agility when he played; but he certainly understands the modern game and how essential it is to have fit players. The men’s team have improved their fitness standards significantly under the leadership of V Kohli who is a fitness freak.
It might be time for Kaur to lead from the front and work with Ganguly!