WPL 2023: My approach is to make youngsters comfortable, says Harmanpreet Kaur

Mumbai, March 3 (IANS) Ahead of the opening match of the Women’s Premier League 2023 where Mumbai Indians will take on Gujarat Giants, Harmanpreet Kaur on Friday revealed that one of her main focus and approach as a captain is to make the youngsters in the squad feel comfortable and at ease.

Having made her India debut as a 20-year old, Kaur said that she drew upon that experience to put the youngsters in the team in a comfortable space.

“As a young kid, it is very difficult to talk to a senior. So my approach is always to go to them and talk to the youngsters. When I entered the team, Jhulu di (Jhulan Goswami) and Anjum di (Anjum Chopra) made me feel very comfortable and I’m trying to follow the same thing here,” said India and Mumbai Indians skipper Harmanpreet on the eve of the WPL opener.

Harmanpreet also hailed the potential of the WPL by saying that it would bring a lot of young talent to the forefront.

“This platform is going to take cricket to the next level. The top 25 girls were always getting the exposure but this is a great opportunity for the youngsters to express themselves. After this tournament, we will definitely see some young girls who will come up and perform well for the team,” she said.

Asked about what were some of the things that impressed her about the uncapped players in the Mumbai Indians team, she said,”The young girls in the MI team are all brilliant fielders. All the young girls are bringing a lot of commitment to their fielding, which is very good to see. They are even running between the wickets really well.”

“We have Sonam Yadav in our team who did really well in the U19 World Cup. I was talking to her yesterday and trying to understand her. She asked me what I thought of her bowling and a few other questions. I was very impressed by Dhara Gujjar’s approach, the way she was running between the wickets,” she added.

The skipper also said that it’s not just the youngsters who can learn from senior players but also vice-versa. “You can learn a lot from the younger players too as a senior.”

The atmosphere at Mumbai Indians has made things very easy for the players, the India captain said.

“I had always heard that MI has a very different atmosphere. I was thinking a lot about the World Cup. But the moment I came here they have been very positive. They are only talking about what went well. As you mentioned, I had a long day but you can still see that smile on my face. It is because of the positivity around me,” she said referring to the atmosphere created by the team.

The right-handed batter also added that Jhulan Goswami, team mentor and bowling coach, had played a key role in integrating the youngsters into the team.

“Jhulan di already knows most of the girls because she was mentoring the Bengal team on the domestic circuit. It is a short tournament, so it is very important for us to stay together. Winning and losing is not in our hands,” said Kaur.

–IANS

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