Published On: Sun, Jan 21st, 2018

We needed a break after World Cup, says Harmanpreet

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harsimratNew Delhi-It’s been almost six months since India suffered a heart-breaking loss against host England in the Women’s World Cup final at Lord’s. Since then, Mithali Raj’s army has been seen in all sorts of glitzy and promotional events but finally, it’s time for the girls to shift focus on what they do the best.Ahead of what would be their first assignment since their stupendous march into the World Cup final, India’s women’s outfit has assembled for a weeklong training stint before leaving for South Africa for a limited overs’ tour. And star batsman Harmanpreet Kaur tried to downplay the lost opportunity to continue the same momentum after the World Cup high.

“Before the World Cup, we were involved in back-to-back series and we did not get break any break, so many girls were carrying niggles. Even I was injured and we needed a break,” Harmanpreet said on Saturday. “This break will help us. I know the kind of momentum we got, if one or two series would have happened, then it would have been better for us. At that time the team needed a break, which BCCI gave us and it was good.”While a majority of India’s regulars were involved in the domestic season, Harmanpreeet, along with power-hitter Veda Krishnamurthy, competed in the Big Bash T20 league in Australia. She was confident the exposure Down Under will help her during the tour to South Africa, which will feature three ODIs for the ICC Championship and five T20Is.

“Yes, the Big Bash was good, though this time I did not get enough opportunities,” she said. “But simultaneously I was training hard in the nets. Practising on the pitches in Australia will certainly help in South Africa.”India’s squad has been training rigorously at the Wankhede Stadium from January 18 and after the week-long camp, will get well over a week to get acclimatised before the first ODI on February 5. While Harmanpreet was confident that the preparations will be solid ahead of the series, it will be interesting to see how India’s women overcome the lack of match-practice in the crucial series.

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