Women’s T20 Challenge: She has been the core of the team, says Taniya on Harmanpreet

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Pune, May 29 (IANS) Wicketkeeper-batter Taniya Bhatia hailed Supernovas skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s good form in their triumphant run in the Women’s T20 Challenge, saying that the right-hander has been the core of the side.

Hrmanpreet has been the top run-scorer of the tournament, making 151 runs in three innings at an average of 50.33 and strike rate of 138.53, including a 29-ball 43 in the four-run win against Velocity in the final at MCA Stadium on Saturday.

“Absolutely, she has been the core of the team. She was a star performer in domestic cricket and international cricket as well. She has been a core player and is quite chilled as a person and boosts our confidence. She is positive (by mindset),” said Taniya in the post-match virtual press conference.

The final also showed that Velocity opener Shafali Verma was attacked by short-pitched stuff from pacer Mansi Joshi before being dismissed by Deandra Dottin. Asked about the plans for Shafali, Taniya remarked, “It was quite simple. We saw their previous game as a unit and were discussing certain plans. We were quite happy that we were able to execute them well. We were able to keep the ball away from her body and it worked really well.”

Taniya, who scored 36 and was one not out in two innings besides claiming three catches and one stumping in three matches of the Women’s T20 Challenge, hasn’t played a T20I for India since suffering a concussion in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final against Australia and has been leapfrogged by teenager Richa Ghosh.

Taniya said her focus is on grabbing playing opportunities coming her way instead of thinking about what happened in the past. “I am always positive and live in the moment. I didn’t think about the past even during the domestic season and look to see ahead, which made my domestic season go well.”

“Before coming here (for Women’s T20 Challenge), I thought that I will just focus on my role, do what the situation demands and not think about what is happening outside and try to grab the opportunities that come my way.”

Taniya, 24, signed off by saying that she has been working on improving her strike rate in T20 cricket, especially with the Commonwealth Games and Women’s T20 World Cup coming in the next 12 months apart from the series against Sri Lanka and England.

“The main thing is to accept things, so I accepted my situations. I thought during the World Cup that when I go back, I will work on my batting. I knew there are T20s lined up this season, so I started working on my strike rate during the domestic tournament.”

“T20 cricket is all about maintaining strike rate and average, so here also I kept my focus on that, to act according to the situation. Now also when I go back my preparation and focus will remain the same for the upcoming games.”

–IANS

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