India doing really well, hopefully they can qualify for T20 WC semis: Harmanpreet

DHAKA, May 14: Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur is confident that Indian women’s team will be one of the potential semi-finalists in this year’s T20 World Cup and beating the ‘Southern Stars’ will go a long way in clinching its first maiden global title.

The T20 World Cup is scheduled in Bangladesh from October 3-20 with Harmanpreet banking on the Indian team’s familiarity with the conditions to win the competition.

India have been drawn alongside six-time champions Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Group A for the ninth edition of the tournament, while Group B comprises South Africa, England, 2016 champions West Indies, Bangladesh and Scotland.

Asked to predict the semifinalists, Harmanpreet, who recently led India to a 5-0 whitewash of Bangladesh in the T20I series in Sylhet, said, “India, Australia, England and South Africa. Because all these teams have been doing really well and hopefully these four can qualify for the semis so we can have very good cricket over there.

“I think it will be Australia (who I look forward to facing) because they are very competitive,” Harmanpreet told ICC during a fixture launch event here.

Though Harmanpreet’s side has challenged Australian dominance of late, the rivals have come up trumps in global events, winning the Women’s T20 World Cup final in 2020 as well as the Commonwealth Games final in 2022. Australia also defeated India in the 2023 T20 World Cup semifinal.

“If we do well against them, it will give us a lot of confidence and I’m really looking forward to playing against them,” she added.

Harmanpreet also felt India’s success in the recently-concluded 5-match series against the hosts had made them more familiar with the conditions.

“Yeah, it’s a bit similar to India and hopefully, in these conditions, we should do well.”

India and Bangladesh have been involved in some intense rivalry of late and it was very much on show during the recently-concluded series. India have travelled to Bangladesh twice since the 2023 T20 World Cup — in July last year for a three-match T20I series and an ODI series as well as the recent 5-match T20I series.

“Bangladesh will be the home team and they will know the conditions better than us. Obviously crowd will be supporting them. But playing against them is always an exciting event. And hopefully, we will do well against them,” said Harmanpreet.

On India’s so-near-yet-so far experience in World Cups, Harmanpreet said,  “I think in all the ICC events we have done well. The only thing is that we have lost a lot of close games. And this time hopefully all those close games if we can win and do well for the team.” (PTI)