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Harmanpreet on challenges of upcoming home Tests

Source: PTI
November 22, 2023 17:06 IST
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Harmanpreet Kaur rues lack of practice in red-ball cricket 

IMAGE: Harmanpreet Kaur rues lack of practice in red-ball cricket. Photograph: PTI from the Rediff Archives 

Gearing up for their first Test at home in almost a decade, Indian women's team captain Harmanpreet Kaur feels the biggest challenge will be to adapt to red-ball cricket in a short span of time given the hectic international schedule.

The Indian team is scheduled to play two Tests at home -- first against England from December 14 at Navi Mumbai followed by a match against Australia beginning December 21 in Mumbai.

However, the lack of enough red-ball cricket for the Indian women is a concern for Harmanpreet, who has played just three Tests in her illustrious career.


"The Test series is something which we are really looking forward to because I haven't played in front of a home crowd [since 2014], so I'm really excited for that," Harmanpreet was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

"The challenge for us is that we haven't played with the red ball. We have been playing with the white ball for so many years.

"Even in domestic cricket, we don't have red-ball cricket back home. So the challenge for us is to make yourself ready in such a short time."

Hamanpreet has scored just 38 runs at an average of 7.60 in 3 Tests but has nine wickets to her name that she claimed during her only home Test in November 2014 against South Africa. Her remaining two Tests were against England in Wormsley (2014) and Bristol (2021).

While she is currently in Australia for Women's Big Bash League (WBBL), Harmanpreet will be playing Melbourne Renegades' final game versus Melbourne Stars at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on November 25, leaving her just 19 days to prepare for the England Test beg.

However, she would also be featuring in the three-match T20I series against England beginning December 6, which precedes the Test, thus curtailing her red-ball preparations.

Harmanpreet had planned on practising with the red ball during her WBBL stint but the packed schedule has sent her plans for a toss.

"I had that thought if I can simultaneously do some red-ball practice also, but because it's such a packed schedule you can't mix things," she said.

"We're playing T20 cricket, and the Test game is a totally different kind of game, so I didn't want to mix it. When I'm going back, I have ten days to prepare myself."

While Harmanpreet missed out on the Gold Coast Test against Australia in 2021 due to a thumb injury, she said that she had watched the fixture closely, thereby getting a sense of how to play the format and tactically captain the side.

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