WPL 2024: ‘I’m confident Harmanpreet will be back for next match’, says MI coach Charlotte Edwards

Bengaluru, Feb 29 – Mumbai Indians head coach Charlotte Edwards said she is confident of captain Harmanpreet Kaur being available for their next WPL match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, to be held on Saturday.

Harmanpreet missed Mumbai’s match against UP Warriorz on Wednesday night due to a niggle as the defending champions lost by seven wickets to face their first defeat of the ongoing competition.

Apart from her, speedster Shabnim Ismail also missed Wednesday’s match due to a niggle. “Unfortunately they weren’t available for selection today. Harman (Harmanpreet) should be back on Saturday. We are just waiting on (Shabnim) Ismail. It shouldn’t be too long, but we don’t want to bring her back too early. I am really confident that Harman will be back against RCB,” said Charlotte in the post-match press conference.

Asked if dew had a big impact on the game, as UP Warriorz chased down the total with ease, thanks to Kiran Navgire’s 31-ball 57, Charlotte replied in the affirmative. “Potentially, yes. Chasing is a lot easier than setting a target. The wicket looked quite slow when we batted. We did well to get to 160-odd considering that we were 13 in four overs.”

“It quickened up and I thought Kiran Navgire played brilliantly tonight and took the game away from us in that period. We never quite recovered and we have to go away now and think about what we need to do when players get aggressive and hit a lot of sixes. It is a good learning for us.”

Charlotte was also pleased with wicketkeeper-opener Yastika Bhatia trying to be more aggressive while batting in the power-play. In the first six overs, Mumbai struggled to come to terms with pace of the wicket, till Yastika turned the tables by taking 18 runs off the fifth over against Anjali Sarvani.

“What we asked of her last season was to be aggressive and enjoy her cricket. I couldn’t speak more highly of Yastika. She is an unbelievable talent is going to play for India for years to come. We are seeing glimpses of what she can do.”

“She is one of my favourite players to watch at the moment. Wonderful to see her going out there, take the game on, and I want her to enjoy it. India have gotten a gem there I think moving forward.”

“We talk to our batters about being aggressive, but they struggled with the pace of the wicket. Yastika going after the bowler in one over got us the impetus. I was pleased with 160 at the halfway stage. We were beaten by a very special innings (from Kiran) and we didn’t quite recover from it.”

Charlotte signed off by saying she will have a word with the team about bouncing back in the match after being pushed on the backfoot initially. “From our point of view, we haven’t dropped too many, so I am happy.”

“It was our worst performance in the field. We were very good until now, and sometimes when you are on the backfoot with the way the opposition played, it happens. It is something I will be speaking to the players about.”

“We still have to have that aggressive mindset even if someone is trying to take the attack to us. Quite a lot of learnings for us as a group, which is good as a coach. We have a couple of days off now, and a massive game on Saturday.”


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