Skipper Harmanpreet Singh’s Ban Provides Opportunity for Other Players, says Former Coach
Skipper Harmanpreet Singh’s two-match ban that will allow her to feature in the Hangzhou Asian Games T20 competition only if India reach the final won’t hurt the team but give other players an opportunity, former interim coach Nooshin Al-Khadeer said on Monday.
Harmanpreet was banned by ICC for smashing the stumps to protest her dismissal and then criticising the umpire in the third ODI loss to hosts Bangladesh in July.
Opportunity for Other Players
“Harmanpreet is an experienced campaigner and a good captain… But then there is a chance for others to show their muscle in the middle and make most of the chances,” said Nooshin, who was coach of the victorious women’s U-19 World Cup team and the side that won the U-23 Emerging Asia Cup in Hong Kong.
The former India spinner urged everyone to move on from the incident in Dhaka. “Harmanpreet is back to cricket, let’s take some pride and glory in the fact that our men’s team won the Asia Cup and look at the Asian Games for more success for the men’s and women’s teams.”
India’s Prospects in the Tournament
- Top-seeded India have a bye into quarter-finals, to be played on September 21.
- Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have raised their level of late, doing well against South Africa, England and India, respectively.
- India should win gold; they have always done well against Asian sides.
Key Players to Watch
- Medium-pacer Titas Sadhu is an exciting prospect.
- All-rounder Pooja Vastrakar has come into the squad in place of the injured left-arm seamer Anjali Sarvani.
- Shafali Verma, Kanika Ahuja, Richa Ghosh, and Minnu Mani are players to watch out for.
Leadership in the Absence of Harmanpreet
The spotlight will be on Smriti Mandhana, who will lead India in Harmanpreet’s absence. “I have seen Smriti doing well whenever she has had the chance to lead. Her approach towards youngsters is remarkable. Mandhana has led India in 11 matches.
Expectations for the Tournament
Hangzhou is expected to be hot and humid and Nooshin expects spinners to play a key role. Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh have had success in recent tournaments. The key will be the spinners; left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad is back in the team.
The women’s tournament will take place from September 19 to 25. Group A has Indonesia and Mongolia and Group B Hong Kong and Malaysia. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh have been granted direct entry into the last eight.
About the Author
Shalini Gupta is a member of the Chandigarh sports team and has been a sports journalist for 10 years. She mainly writes on cricket.