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India’s Harmanpreet Kaur backs herself to rediscover batting form in T20s against England

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India’s Harmanpreet Kaur, who has battled injury and Covid this year, has scored just 48 runs combined in five innings on England tour; India trail England 6-4 in multi-format series after winning the third and final ODI; three T20s remain, starting in Northampton on Friday

Harmanpreet Kaur has struggled for runs in England this summer but is backing herself to change that in the T20s

Harmanpreet Kaur has struggled for runs in England this summer but is backing herself to change that in the T20s

India’s Harmanpreet Kaur is confident her form will return in the three T20 internationals against England, which will determine the winners of the multi-format series.

Kaur, India’s T20 captain, has scored a combined 48 runs across five innings in England this summer, with totals of four and eight in the drawn one-off Test followed by knocks of one, 19 and 16 across the three one-day internationals.

The 32-year-old sustained a groin injury earlier this year and then contracted Covid-19, which she says hindered her preparations for the tour of England.

Kaur’s side trail 6-4 in the multi-format series but their victory in the final ODI at Worcester last Saturday means they can still win the trophy, with two points available for victory in each of the T20 internationals.

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Speaking ahead of the opening T20 in Northampton on Friday – which is live on Sky Sports Cricket and the Sky Sports Cricket YouTube channel from 6pm – Kaur said: “After five innings, I understand how and in what areas I need to improve. In the T20I series you will definitely see a different approach.

“I’m someone who likes to train every day and work hard every day. Because of Covid and injuries I didn’t get much time to prepare,

“That phase didn’t allow me to work much on batting or bowling skills. I was just working on myself so that I was physically fit for the team.

“I have realised that you have to figure out ways to get the best out of yourself when you don’t have enough time to prepare. I’m watching videos of myself and I hope they’ll help me in this T20I [series].

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“It’s just the matter of a good innings and once you get back that momentum I will definitely carry that ahead.”

We didn’t get a practice game. .I usually prefer more open nets and practice games than nets because in regular nets you don’t get much of an idea and every day you’re facing the same bowlers, so you can’t analyse how you should be batting.

Harmanpreet Kaur

Victory for England in the third ODI would have ensured they could not have been beaten in the multi-format series, as they would have been six points ahead with India only able to collect a maximum of six points by winning each of the T20s.

However, after being bowled out for 219, Heather Knight’s side then saw Mithali Raj’s unbeaten 75 – during which she overtook former England captain Charlotte Edwards as the leading run-scorer in women’s international cricket – steer India to a four-wicket win.

Raj will not be involved in the T20 internationals having retired from that format in 2019.

Sky Sports Watch all the best bits from the third and final ODI between England and India

England, meanwhile, welcome back batter Danni Wyatt and off-spinner Mady Villiers to their squad for the series, which, after Friday’s opener in Northampton, continues at Hove on Sunday and then concludes at Chelmsford on Wednesday.

England coach Lisa Keightley, whose side won the first two ODIs by eight wickets and five wickets respectively, said: “We’ve played some good cricket across both the Test and the ODIs and we’ve named a strong squad for the T20I series.

“It’s 6-4 in the multi-format series and it’s a series we’re pushing hard to win. We probably weren’t quite at our best in the third ODI so I’d like us to hit the ground running in the first T20I and be ruthless.”

Watch the first T20 international between England and India, at Northampton, live on Sky Sports Cricket and the Sky Sports Cricket YouTube channel from 6pm on Friday.

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