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Match Reports,07 July 2015

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I just played without any worries: Kaur

Star of India Women’s win on Sunday attributes team’s failures in Bangladesh to lack of experience in the unit

I just played without any worries: Kaur - Cricket News
Harmanpreet Kaur stressed on the importance of enjoying the format as without enjoying the format, one can't play well, no matter how much ability one is blessed with.
"Bat fearlessly; bat as if you have no worries in the world. Even if you are under pressure, act as if you aren't, because bowlers will always try to unsettle you anyway," Virender Sehwag told Harmanpreet Kaur when the two met at the National Cricket Academy many years ago, much before she made her international debut. It was a lesson she took quite seriously, and it showed in every aspect of her game on Sunday (March 30).
Kaur brought out her A-game as India Women registered its first win of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 2014 against Bangladesh Women in Sylhet. The scorecard may suggest that her 59-ball 77 was a display of brutal hitting, but it was far from that. Blessed with excellent timing and supreme hand-eye coordination, the Kaur that turned up against Bangladesh was a pale shadow of the one trying to slog her way out of trouble after coming into bat lower down the order earlier in the tournament.
As Kaur, the Player of the Match, reflected on her knock that was studded with 12 fours and a six, there were repeat mentions of how she had to put behind her worries, for the Indian team has struggled to find an ideal batting combination of late and she is a key cog in the wheel.
"When you play for India, the responsibility is always there and I wasn't as relaxed as I should have been," she explained. "But then I realised if you don't enjoy the format, you can't play well even if you are blessed with ability. Today, I just tried to play freely without any worries and it worked."
Kaur made her debut in 2009, but the journey from the small town of Moga in Punjab to where she is today has been far from easy. But Kaur believes that she's a better player today only because nothing came on a platter. "My town didn't have too many facilities and the nearest academy was 30 kilometres away," she said. "Sometimes, buses weren't available, so my father had to pick me and drop me. My coach Yadwinder (Singh Sandhu) sir, also played a big part. Because of that, I had to spend a lot of time away from home. All those things have helped me."
Kaur is only 25, and within five years of making her debut, she has already graduated to be one of the pillars of the team. In April last year, she was also handed the captaincy when Mithali Raj was rested for the series against Bangladesh, making it clear that she is the one in waiting for the job.
Her technique is uncomplicated and she's supremely confident. If there's something Kaur wants to work on, it's consistency – despite having hit two hundreds and seven fifties in 39 One-Day Internationals. She explains, "Obviously you enjoy it only when the team wins. What we need is to build some more experience because apart from Mithali (Raj) and Jhulan di (Goswami), me and Poonam (Raut), the others have hardly played. At a World Cup, experience matters."
India will be playing a Test for the first time since 2006 on its tour of England in August this year. Kaur has enough experience, but she believes it will be a completely different ball game. "It will be a great experience," said Kaur, who is yet to play a Test match. "We have all been waiting for a long time. In this team only Mithali and Jhulan di know what it feels like to play in a Test. We’ll continue to work hard and prepare for it."

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