When the year started and India were in New Zealand for a pre-World Cup preparatory One Day International series, there were questions around Harmanpreet Kaur’s form. She had not scored a ODI half century since March 2021, and had issues with injuries on and off. Just ahead of the World Cup, her form was indeed a little bit of concern for India.
But Harmanpreet Kaur has been one of India’s best ever in the white-ball format. It was a matter of when and not if, that she would find form and it started with the dead rubber in the fifth match of the series. After resting for the fourth ODI, she came back into the XI for the fifth match and scored a superb 63 in a run-chase for India and from there on, has built on her good form.
On Thursday against Sri Lanka, rescuing India from a tough situation, she crossed the 500-run tally in a calendar year for the second time in her career. And now, 2022 is her best ever year in ODIs in terms of runs scored.
Harmanpreet Kaur finished with 75 off 88 balls, as India went from 124/6 to 255/9 riding on her partnership with Pooja Vastrakar.
Harmanpreet's 500+ run years in ODIs
From the half century against New Zealand, through her crucial innings during the World Cup, and now in Sri Lanka, she has been in consistent form through the year.
Harmanpreet in ODIs in 2022
|75||85.22||6||1||v SL||Pallekele||7 Jul 2022|
|DNB||-||-||2||v SL||Pallekele||4 Jul 2022|
|44||69.84||4||2||v SL||Pallekele||1 Jul 2022|
|48||84.21||5||1||v SA||Christchurch||27 Mar 2022|
|14||42.42||5||1||v BAN||Hamilton||22 Mar 2022|
|57*||121.27||5||1||v AUS||Auckland||19 Mar 2022|
|14||53.84||5||1||v ENG||Mount Maunganui||16 Mar 2022|
|109||101.86||5||1||v WI||Hamilton||12 Mar 2022|
|71||112.69||5||2||v NZ||Hamilton||10 Mar 2022|
|5||35.71||5||1||v PAK||Mount Maunganui||6 Mar 2022|
|63||95.45||4||2||v NZ||Queenstown||24 Feb 2022|
|13||59.09||5||1||v NZ||Queenstown||18 Feb 2022|
|10||55.55||5||1||v NZ||Queenstown||15 Feb 2022|
|10||45.45||5||2||v NZ||Queenstown||12 Feb 2022|
With her innings against Sri Lanka in Pallekele, Harmanpreet also became only the third Indian batter to score 500-plus ODI runs in a calendar twice after Mithali Raj (5 times) and Smriti Mandhana (2).
With a travelling sports psychologist on tour of New Zealand earlier in the year (Dr Mugdha Bavare), Harmanpreet had spoken about coming out of a shell after conversations with her.
“Mugdha ma’am is travelling with us and she has been of a lot of help especially in the last four games which we played against New Zealand where my performance was not good and even I was going into a shell,” she had said from Down Under during a virtual press conference.
“The World Cup was coming up and it is very important, as we all know. After that, she spoke to me and as the talks were happening I realised that I was also looking forward to talking to her. I was aware of things subconsciously got the solutions from the talks we had.
“There was a lot of pressure to put up performances but after [speaking to her] I got clear ideas, those things really helped me in the last two-three games. I think the rest of the players are also getting help because I can see she’s continuously talking to all the players, which is important and that will really help us,” she added.
While she had acknowledged that the poor run in international cricket had been weighing on her, and that she had to fight through it, the calendar year has been one of a fine turnaround for the Indian batter, and now leader across formats.