Women’s World Cup: Harmanpreet Kaur discusses the psychologist’s role in overcoming poor form

Star India batsman Harmanrpeet Kaur on Wednesday bemoaned the role played by the team’s sports psychologist Mugdha Bavare in helping her overcome muscular weakness just in time for the Women’s World Cup which begins March 4 in New Zealand.

Harmanrpeet said she got caught in a shell looking for answers to her problems and she found them when she was playing with Dr during the 5-game ODI series against New Zealand. Mugha Bavare spoke. Harmanpreet only managed 33 runs in the first 3 ODIs against New Zealand and was dropped for the 4th ODI.

Harmanpreet’s place in the team was in question despite the star batter’s experience, but she bounced back and hit a crucial 63 in India’s lone win over New Zealand in the 5th ODI. Harmanrpeet then built on her form, scoring a 104-match win over the South African women in the pre-Women’s World Cup warm-up game.

“Mugdha Ma’am was a big help, especially in the last four games we played against New Zealand where my performance wasn’t good and even I went into the bowl.

“I had things on my mind but I wasn’t aware of it, after talking to her I got the solutions. After talking to her I got clear ideas that these things during lat 2-3 games really helped,” Harmanpreet told the press on Wednesday.

Captain Mithali Raj had stressed the need for India to travel to major tournaments with a sports psychologist and the senior team brought in Dr. Mugdha for her tour of New Zealand and the World Cup on board. In particular, Mithali spoke about the sports psychologist’s positive influence on the team, even when results against New Zealand were not so good.

Harmanpreet was one of India’s biggest stars when she reached the final of the 2017 Women’s World Cup. Her legendary 171 smash helped India knock out powerhouses Australia in the semifinals.

However, the T20I skipper has since endured a rough patch having only managed 3 fifties in the last 3 years.

Harmanpreet said recent performances in New Zealand are a big boost in their confidence ahead of the World Cup.

“I know people talk more about my 171 shots and that’s a standard I’ve set for myself. Maybe that’s why my small shots of 30-40 runs, which are crucial for the team, are not given any importance,” Kaur added.

“I don’t want to judge myself by numbers – what’s important to me is that if the team needs me, I can stand up for them, whether it’s 100 runs or 10 runs.”

The 32-year-old struggled with the pasture but got back into shape in time for the World Cup which begins on Friday.

Kaur totaled 33 runs in his first three games against New Zealand before being knocked off the side for the fourth ODI. In the last game, however, the right-hander hit a 63, followed by a 104 in the warm-up game against South Africa.

“Yes, definitely (I’m confident about batting), there have been a lot of ups and downs in my performance, but performing in the last hundred has given me a lot of confidence.

“The innings against New Zealand were very crucial for me. I found the rhythm I needed. Now it’s very important for me to continue that rhythm and momentum.”

HARMANRPEET TRUST SHAFALI WILL RETURN

Meanwhile, Harmanpreet Kaur backed up the hard-hitting Shafali Verma, who is undergoing a lean run to get in shape at the Women’s World Cup. Shafali managed just 96 runs in the 5-match ODI series in New Zealand.

“She is a very important player for us and she understands her role well. It sometimes happens, no matter how hard you try, it sometimes doesn’t translate into performance. Then we have to give her some time to work on herself.

“We all talk to her – me, the other players, Mugda. She will be good at the right time. Right now, it’s important to remind her of the good things she’s done, not what doesn’t go her way.

“I’m sure she will click at the right time, she is someone who has worked very well for us and will bounce back.”

India will open their campaign at Sunday’s Women’s World Cup against Pakistan.

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