Is it time for Indian women’s team to look beyond Harmanpreet Kaur the skipper?

Is it time for Indian women’s team to look beyond Harmanpreet Kaur the skipper?

India vs Australia: Though a great servant of Indian cricket, Harmanpreet Kaur has struggled as a leader and batter in the last two years.

India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur is bit of a legend in her own right. She has an impressive record with the bat in ODIs and T20Is, and is the most successful captain for the country in the shortest format. Just recently, she also took the team to wins against England and Australia in home Tests, improving her CV in the red-ball format as well.

The 34-year-old, in 130 ODIs has 3410 runs to her name, at an average of 36, including five tons. And in T20Is, she has 3201 runs in 160 games, at an average of 27. But that is where the good part seems to be ending for Harmanpreet, who is having a horrific time with the bat, and which is showing in her limited-overs captaincy as well.

Poor 2023 with the Bat

Last year, in the five matches Harman played, she could only muster 85 runs at an average of 17. Out of those 52 came in one match alone, that shows her struggle in all these games. To add to her woes, in the only ODI in 2024, she scored only three runs.

Come T20Is, she doesn’t have much to show either. In the last eight innings, she has only scored 89 runs, with 40 as her highest, against Bangladesh. That makes it an average of paltry 11.

Diminishing Leadership Record

Last year wasn’t great for Harman the captain as well, as she consistently failed to lift the team against the likes of England, and Australia; to make matters worse, India also succumbed to Bangladesh. Talking just about the T20Is, India played 19 matches, the team lost six, and only 11 wins. Out of that, no win came against Australia, and only one versus England.

On an individual basis, Harman has a decent record as T20I skipper, having led in 105 matches, winning 59, but that doesn’t tell us the full story. India has a poor bilateral record, where we last won a series against a top side in 2019/20, against the West Indies. Of course, Harman was the skipper in them all, who has been at the helm in the shortest format for a while now.

Under her, India lost the series to England in 2021, 2-1, followed by a loss to Australia 2-0. As part of the same tour, India lost the one off T20I against New Zealand as well. Barring Asian sides, that really aren’t a force to reckon with, there wasn’t a series success. In September 2022, India again lost away T20I series to England 2-1, under Harman. Then Australia thrashed us 4-1 at home. Lastly, at the end of 2023, India lost 1-2 to England at home.


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