Indian T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur has had a rough few months. After getting injured during the series against South Africa in March, the all-rounder tested positive for COVID-19 which made her delayed her injury recovery for over two months. She was able to recover from the virus and her injury in time for tour of England which did not turn well for her.
Across the five innings in the multi-format series, Kaur has scored just 48 runs, which she feels is mostly down to lack of preparation time and practice matches.
"I am someone who likes to train and work hard everyday, but didn’t get time to prepare because of covid and the injury. It’s not an excuse, but preparation is important at this level," Kaur told a virtual press conference on Thursday.
"We also didn’t get practice games before the series. There were problems with net sessions as well. I prefer practice games as you get used to match situations better because you face the same bowlers in the nets," she said.
Speaking about her struggles with injury recovery and COVID-19, Kaur said: "It was a Grade-2 tear on the right side of my groin. Shortly after starting rehab, I got covid, which took a toll on my body. Things that usually need 15 days to recover were taking up to 2 months. But, now I feel fine and am confident of performing well. You’ll see a different approach from me in the T20Is."
India managed to draw the one-off Test in Bristol and submitted the ODI series after losing the first two matches. However, they avoided a series clean sweep by winning the third match by four wickets. Kaur is confident of carrying the momentum in to the T20I series, which begins on Friday at Northampton.
"I think we gathered momentum from the second ODI itself. We did not win the game, but the way we bowled and fielded in that game was outstanding. When you play international cricket after a long time, you need that momentum and we got that with the win in the third ODI. We will look to carry that on to the T20I series," the skipper said.
Kaur also said that the team is open to try different combinations with next year's ODI World Cup in mind. Teenage keeper-batter Richa Ghosh could also receive a chance in the upcoming matches.
"The aim is build the team for the World Cup. We want get the combination right in preparation for it by giving all the players enough chances," Kaur said.
"I think this is the right time for us to try new things. Previously, we were picking players who were in form, but we now have the time to try different combinations. I think Richa (Ghosh) is a good addition to the squad as she can also keep wickets. We will decide the best XI after the final practice session."