She is the first woman for India to score a century in a Women's Twenty20 International now serves as the captain of the Indian team in T20Is, Recipient of an Arjuna Award for Cricket in the year 2017
Author:- Ashwin Jangam (Cricket Analyst, host, poet, entertainer)
Insta I'd:- cricket_creativity
The game of cricket is loved by millions all over the globe. There are numerous reasons why people love to watch the game. Some love it for its class, some for its patience over a longer time, some for the unpredictability, or some for the shorter formats of the game. But when it comes to all the cricket fans, watching the batters hit long sixes has always been a constant liking for all the fans of the game. Hard-hitters make the game interesting and are therefore loved by many. When we think of hard hitters in women's cricket, the first name which comes to our mind is our captain, Harmanpreet Kaur.
The power hitting range and abilities of this daughter of India loved by all the fans across the world. Her towering sixes demonstrate the strength she possesses and also gives a glimpse of the confidence oozing from her. Her acceleration in the crunch times has led to our team's victory on numerous occasions.
The strong arms of Harman are lethal to destroy any bowling attack in this world. However, it was not the case in her childhood. The queen of hard-hitting hailing from Moga was a skinny girl with immense talent. Although she had the sweet timing while batting, but her power was a little low. It was her coach, who then decided to work on her arm strength, which would eventually result in increasing the strength so much to weigh the expectations of a billion people.
As a kid, Harman used to play street cricket with the boys. Her father was also an aspiring cricketer who left his dream midway due to responsibilities. But his daughter was ready to fulfil her father's incomplete dream. Naturally, her father was her first coach.
To hone her skills further, she enrolled on further training. It was only a matter of time before the girl started to make headlines. Her performance offered her a place in Punjab Women's team in domestic cricket. She immensely contributed to the Punjab team, both with the bat and with the ball.
Her consistency yielded the result, as she made her debut in 2009 against arch-rivals Pakistan. Coming as an all-rounder in the side, she continued to step up to the responsibilities of the team. Seeing her dedication, in the 2012 Asian Games final, she was named as the captain due to the absence of Mithali and Jhulan because of injuries. Being her first match as a captain, she successfully defended a mere 81 runs while Pakistan women were bundled on 63 runs, thereby India winning the Asia cup. Indians were excited to see the shades of a true leader in her. Like in her batting, she also hit towering sixes in her captaincy.
Courtesy: ESPN CRIC INFO
A very aggressive batter, Harman is known for her power hitting and taking her team forward. Her innings of 171 off 115 balls in the semi-final of the 2017 World cup against the mighty Aussies is one of the best innings in the history of the game till now. She dismantled the Aussie attack tearing them into pieces, single-handedly winning the game for Women in Blue. It is the highest individual score by an Indian batswoman in world cups and is also the highest in women's cricket knockout matches of the world cups.
In the next year, she played a knock of 103 off just 51 deliveries, becoming the first Indian to hit a century in T20 international. She hit 8 towering sixes and 7 elegant fours in this innings. Another memorable inning from her came when she won the world cup qualifier against Sout Africa hitting a six on the last ball when four were required.
Knowing her aggression, she was signed by Sydney Thunder in the 2016 Women's Big Bash League. She became the first Indian player, male or female, to participate in any foreign league. In the later years, she also represented Melbourne Renegades. She also led the Supernovas IPL team in the Women's T20 Challenge. She was a part of Manchester Originals in the inaugural edition of "The Hundred" played in England. In all the leagues she played, she made sure her name was uttered with high respect due to her performance.
Currently, the leader of Women in Blue in T20s continues to serve the Indian Cricket Team. Having numerous records of her name, she continues to strive for better. And in the process, she continues millions of women to actively take up the sport and look forward to it as a career. Her illustrious 12 years in Indian cricket have significantly changed the way the game for women's have evolved, and have changed the perspective of the audience looking forward to the game. In the future years she plays for India, one can just imagine the influence this girl from Moga would have on world cricket. On the holy day of Vijayadashmi, we pray that she continues to emerge victorious leading the Women in Blue everywhere she goes.
दुनिया वालो करो गौर,
लगालो कितना भी जोर,
मॅच जायेगा भारत की ही ओर,
क्योंकि भारत से खेलती है हरमनप्रीत कौर I