Harmanpreet Kaur  © IANS
Harmanpreet Kaur © IANS

Mumbai [India]: Indian women‘s T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur on Saturday admitted that her side needs to raise their game against England in the second match of the triangular series, if they want to avoid a repeat of their defeat to Australia at the Brabourne Stadium. The Indian women’s cricket stadium kicked off their T20I triangular series with a defeat as they slumped to a six-wicket loss against Australia in the opening match.

The women in blue will now have their task cut out when they face the 50-over World Cup winners England in their second game. Having beaten Australia by eight wickets in their first match, England will be boosting with confidence and are upbeat about their chances against India, who have slumped to four defeats in a row across ODIs and T20Is in the last two weeks.

Though Harmanpreet admitted that in-form England would pose a big challenge to her side, she insisted that India had shown improvement in their last match and that they could turn around their fortunes on Sunday. ”England played really well against Australia. We need to raise our level to beat them. We have improved from where we were during ODIs. Though we lost against Australia in the first match, there were moments when we did really well. We just need to ensure we don’t lose momentum once we have it,” Harmanpreet told the reporters.

“Our fielding has also improved. We were very shoddy during the ODIs, but did well in the first match. Smriti and Jhulan were outstanding with bat and ball respectively. We need others to take a leaf out of their books,” she added. The home side will be playing back-to-back games as they are scheduled to take on Australia in their third T20I match at the same venue on Monday.

When quizzed whether fatigue factor is likely to creep in, Harmanpreet refused the same and said that it would be a great learning experience for her side. ”No, not at all. Fatigue is not an issue. We are all enjoying the back-to-back games. We were expecting this from the BCCI. This is a learning experience for us. Earlier, we were not used to getting back-to-back games. There used to be a six to eight-month gap between two series,” Harmanpreet said.

The Indian women’s T20I squad is as follows:

Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Mithali Raj, Veda Krishnamurthy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Anuja Patil, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Poonam Yadav, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Rumeli Dhar, Mona Meshram, Radha Yadav.