Harmanpreet Kaur, the Indian women’s cricket team captain, has established a reputation as one of the most aggressive batters in the women’s game. However, in the ongoing Women’s Big Bash League, Harmanpreet has established herself as a superb fielder. Playing for the Sydney Thunder against the Adelaide Strikers at Hobart, Harmanpreet’s side chose to bowl. Rene Farrell was bowling and Tahlia McGrath was on strike. Farrell bowled a slower ball and McGrath miscued the slog to midwicket. Harmanpreet ran to her left, dived and took the catch tumbling to complete a fabulous effort. The right-hander’s magnificent effort boosted Sydney Thunder and they restricted Adelaide Strikers to just 132, with skipper Suzie Bates top-scoring with 79.
In response, Harmanpreet struck a glorious 33 off 22 balls, which included two fours and three sixes as Sydney Thunder won the match by six wickets. Harmanpreet’s exploits stamped her class and enhanced her reputation as a game-changer.
The Indian women’s skipper has had a glorious 2018. In the first game of the Women’s World T20, Kaur created history when she blasted a century against New Zealand at Providence, Guyana. Her 103 off 51 balls gave India a sensational 34-run win. She became the first India woman player to score a century in the World T20 event and also the first Indian player to hit a century in this format.
However, following the end of the 2018 World T20 in the West Indies where India crashed out in the semi-final following a loss to the West Indies, differences emerged between Harmanpreet and Mithali Raj. Mithali’s manager called her ‘manipulative and undeserving’ as captain. Ramesh Powar, who was the coach of the side, called Mithali ‘aloof’ and this resulted in an ugly episode in which Powar’s application was not renewed.
In 2017, Kaur became the first Indian player to hit a century in the knockout of the World Cup when she blasted an incredible 171 to help India beat Australia in the semi-final.