Harmanpreet Kaur set to return as India aims challenge Australia in T20I series

The return of skipper Harmanpreet Kaur from an injury layoff will give India a heavyweight presence as they take on a multi-dimensional Australian women’s team in a three-match T20I series starting on October 7.

Due to a thumb injury, the 32-year-old veteran missed the ODI leg and the day/night Test against the hosts. She has returned to the team to offer firepower to a batting line-up that includes a swashbuckling opener Shafali Verma, who compliments Smriti Mandhana’s flamboyance at the top of the order. Mandhana will be full of confidence moving into the final phase of the Australian tour, having just achieved her first Test century.

Despite the significant differences between the two formats, the senior opener will undoubtedly want to keep the enthusiasm going. While Harmanpreet is a nice addition, Shafali will be the focus of all eyes because of her proclivity for aggressive batting, which is supported by her range of strokes on both sides of the wicket.

The visitors have demonstrated their ability to adapt to diverse formats in a short period of time during the tour, which helped them dominate the pink ball Test shortly after ending Australia’s three-year world-record string of 26 wins.

Harmanpreet applauded the tour’s multi-format structure, which she believes provided opportunity for players with a variety of skill sets. “In the past, we used to play a lot of T20 or 50-over cricket. This [multi-format tour] now provides an opportunity for everyone to improve their talents. Let’s say someone has good hitting skills and another is more patient – everyone has an equal chance to establish themselves and perform”.