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India Women vs England Women, 1st T20I: In Mithali Raj's Absence, Harmanpreet Kaur Set to Lead India's Charge

In absence of Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur will be leading India in the first T20.

In absence of Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur will be leading India in the first T20.

India have played 19 T20 Internationals against England and have won only four of the matches. They have lost 15.

Northampton: The Indian women’s cricket team enters the T20 International series against England women from Friday buoyed by victory in the final ODI but also concerned by failure of their batters, especially captain Harmanpreet Kaur who has blamed lack of preparation due to Covid-19 and injuries for her poor run.

Test and ODI skipper Mithali Raj was the lone performer in the ODI series as she racked up three half-centuries in three matches, including a 75 not out in the last match that took the team to a face-saving win. India lost the series 1-2, having lost the first two ODIs.

However, Mithali is not part of the T20 International squad and the onus is on the others like openers Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana as well as Harmanpreet to put up a total for their bowlers who have struggled under pressure.

India have played 19 T20 Internationals against England and have won only four of the matches. They have lost 15. In England, they have managed to win only one out of the five matches they have played against the host.

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Harmanpreet blamed lack of preparation due to Covid-19 and injuries for her failures but said she is expecting to return to form in the T20I series.

She made four and eight in the one-off Test and one, 19 and 16 in the three One-day Internationals.

“I am someone who likes to work hard and train everyday. Because of Covid-19 and injuries, I didn’t get much time to prepare but this is not an excuse, because I am someone who takes a lot of time on the ground to prepare," she said.

“At international level, you can’t just come and take things easily. After five innings I have understood where I have to improve and how. So you will see a different approach from my side," added Harmanpreet.

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