India women captain Harmanpreet Kaur is confident that India have grown enough to be strong contenders to win the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020. In the last two ICC tournaments, India have come close to lifting the title only to tumble in the knockouts losing to England in the final of the World Cup in 2017 and to Australia in the semifinal of 2018 World T20.

India are coming off series wins against South Africa and West Indies before reaching the final of the T20 tri-series final. In the absence of Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami, Kaur isn’t just the captain of the team but also remains one of the senior members of the team and is convinced of her side’s ability to more than make up for the void left by the two India veterans.

“We already miss the experience they share with us, but these young girls and showing their talent and ability,” Kaur said in Sydney. “They never show us that they’re young, they can always do what we expect of them. The team is looking in really good shape and showing what they can do with extra responsibility. In the last two years it’s really changed I’ve gone from being the youngest one to one of the oldest in the team.

“Our team is growing day by day; everyone is looking so positive. The tri-series with England and Australia was a good stage for us to prepare ourselves very well and we’re ready to give our best to try and win for our country.”

The experience of playing in Australia is nothing new for India, especially for Kaur, who became the first Indian cricketer to join an overseas league when joining WBBL side Sydney Thunder in 2016. She and Smriti Mandhana, who represents Melbourne Stars, missed the Women’s Big Bash League due to scheduling conflicts but have enough experience of playing in Australia, against them in the T20 World Cup opener on Friday.

“Over the last two years, we have already had a few games as part of the Women’s T20 Challenge and this year we are looking forward to more. If we win the World Cup, there’s no doubt things will change. That tournament would bring a lot of confidence to the girls,” Kaur said.

“We’ve seen it from the WBBL, girls are going and playing there and getting confident, then doing really well in international. If we get a women’s IPL that will be really good for us. If we win the World Cup, it’s going to be very big for us as a team, so we will try to give our best.”