ODIs an opportunity to get ready for T20I series, says India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur

India will fully embrace the shortest format from July with a series against the Proteas, and are looking to gain momentum ahead of the T20 World Cup to be hosted by Bangladesh in October.
Last Updated : 15 June 2024, 15:44 IST

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Bengaluru: The Indian women's cricket team captain Harmanpreet Kaur said the three-match ODI series against South Africa, beginning here from Sunday, will give her side a chance to assess strategies and conditions ahead of the all important T20Is.

India will fully embrace the shortest format from July with a series against the Proteas, and are looking to gain momentum ahead of the T20 World Cup to be hosted by Bangladesh in October.

"We take (ODIs) as an opportunity to go to T20s, because we are playing more T20 games and ODI is something where as a player you have more time to assess your yourself and the conditions," Harmanpreet said on the eve of the first ODI against South Africa here.

"It's good for us that we are getting more games and expressing ourselves," she added.

Coming into this series, India had fitness concerns over top-order batter Jemimah Rodrigues and medium pacer Pooja Vastrakar.

However, Harmanpreet allayed the worries.

"They are absolutely fine, and they are right now even having a hit at nets. They are fit for the game,” she said.

Rodrigues was recuperating after a back injury that forced her to sit out of the T20I series against Bangladesh, while Vastrakar was recovering from an unspecified injury.

The return of Rodrigues, Harmanpreet said, will fortify India’s batting in this series.

"Jemi is fit and fine. She is back and she is someone who is very experienced and she is doing very well for so many years. Now, I think it's a quite balanced batting side and whatever we are expecting as a team, we will go and do well," she noted.

India have recalled top-order batter Priya Punia and pacer Arundhati Reddy for the ODIs. Harmanpreet said the national call was a reward for their consistent performance in domestic cricket.

"They are performers in domestic (cricket), so, we didn't ignore the way they have been performing from last two to three years. We gave them enough time to prove themselves and get ready for the international games.

“I am really happy the way Arundhati played in the WPL during the last two seasons. Priya has also performed well in domestic cricket especially in ODI format. When they are back, our team gets quite balanced,” she added.

Need to play aggressive cricket: Wolvaardt

Skipper Laura Wolvaardt said South Africa will have to play “positive and aggressive” cricket to overcome a formidable opponent like India in their own backyard.

“India is quite a daunting place to come. I'm just sort of trying to prepare the group mentally for what to expect. But we are confident and our batters are licking their lips to get into that surface tomorrow.

“Playing a brave, aggressive brand of cricket is what we need to do. The Indian girls are playing a very positive brand of cricket. I think we are definitely going to have to try and match that,” said Wolvaardt.

The 25-year-old said SA have analysed the Indian batters closely and she hoped to execute their plans to the ‘T’ during the series.

“India have a lot of world-class batters, and just to really analyse their scoring areas and how we can possibly keep them quiet. And if we have those plans in place then hopefully, we're able to execute them,” she added.

Wolvaardt said South Africa have prepared extensively to counter Indian spinners.

“After the Sri Lanka series (at home) we got together for a few camps. It was actually winter there and some of the wickets we were training on were quite slow and low.

“I think it was actually good prep for spin. And we got a high load of spin in before we came over. So that sits well enough,” she said.

Published 15 June 2024, 15:44 IST

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