Indian women’s team off-spinner Deepti Sharma feels skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s ability to “stay calm” at almost all times helps in her decision-making in the middle.
In Harmanpreet’s first match as full-time ODI captain, the experienced Deepti produced an all-round show to lift India to a four-wicket victory, following a tricky run-chase in the first ODI against Sri Lanka here on Friday.
Asked about Harmanpreet’s captaincy in the 50-over format, Deepti said, “She always stays cool, whether it’s T20 or one-dayers. She is leading the team very well. Staying clam helps in taking better decisions, and we are enjoying her captaincy as a team.”
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Harmanpreet took over the reins in the 50-over format after the recent retirement of long-time skipper Mithali Raj.
Cruising at 123 for three, India nearly made heavy weather of what seemed a comfortable run-chase of 172 after Harmanpreet departed for a well-made 44, slipping to 138 for six.
But Deepti (22 not out) and Pooja Vastrakar (21 not out) ensure India emerged winners with plenty of overs to spare.
This was after Deepti returned excellent figures of 3/25.
“We knew how the wicket was behaving, and we worked hard on partnerships. Our plan was to take 3-4 runs per over and we knew that we could build on a partnership that way and finish the game quickly,” Deepti said at the post-match press conference.
Deepti has been pilloried a lot for her slow batting and the all-rounder feels that she has developed new strokes that will help her in the long run.
“I worked a lot on my batting and bowling both before the camp, also developed shots, and you all must have seen it here. My role remains the same, to finish games for the team, and the more I do that, the better it is for the team.
“We were losing wickets but my thought process was that I had to finish the game in the end. As a batting unit, we focussed on short partnerships and we achieved that in the game today.”
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