Australia in India

India’s ‘main focus’ on Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry, says Harmanpreet Kaur

Mithali Raj’s side play three ODIs against the formidable Australians, starting on March 12.

India vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur on Sunday made no bones about her side’s plans to subdue Australia skipper Meg Lanning and all-rounder Ellyse Perry. Mithali Raj and Co play a three-match One-day International series, starting on March 12.

“Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry have done well against us in the past,” Harmanpreet said in a press conference ahead of the first ODI in Vadodara on Monday. “So the main focus will be on those two. Other than that, (Elyse) Villani is there who is also a very good player.”

Despite being out for seven months due to an injury, which also saw her missing the Ashes, Lanning made a strong comeback in the practice games, setting up her side’s seven-wicket win against India ‘A’ in Mumbai with an unbeaten 63.

“They have a long batting order, we have our plans for all of them. We have a lot of footage from the World Cup also. The strategy will be to bowl according to the plan. She [Lanning] is their captain and an important player,” Harmanpreet added. “She has always performed well for her country and her team depends a lot on her. But for us, all players are equal. Our endeavour is not to let any of them click.”

The last time these two sides met – in the World Cup semi-finals – Harmanpreet played a major hand with a brilliant unbeaten 171, which took the wind of out of Australia’s sails. India’s Twenty20 skipper reminded that it was important for her team to reach the the quadrennial event without going through the qualifiers, which was the case in 2017.

“Every game is important because the last time we had to play the qualifiers,” said Harmanpreet, who recently turned 29. “We just want to play good cricket and we know if we play good cricket on a particular day, we will definitely win. We just want to focus on that and play a good brand of cricket. The focus will be on whatever we have planned, we execute that and whoever gets a chance, gives her 100 percent.”

Absence of Goswami and fielding woes

India will miss the services of Jhulan Goswami, who continues to recover from the heel injury she suffered during the South Africa ODIs. A new-ball bowling pair of Shikha Pandey and youngster Pooja Vastrakar yielded mixed results: “The absence of Jhulan can have a lot of impact,” coach Tushar Arothe said.

Arothe didn’t rule out playing a three-prong pace attack, which might bring rookie Sukanya Parida in the equation: “All these years, Jhulan has been performing extremely well. But we have a lot of faith in Shikha [Pandey] and Deepti [Sharma], especially Shikha. We always play two or three fast bowlers in the team. Like in the last T20 in South Africa, we played three fast bowlers. It was an unusual thing but was successful. We will take a call after having a look at the wicket if we go with two fast bowlers or three fast bowlers.”

Arothe called for patience as India continue to work on one of the chinks in their armour, the lower order, which came for much criticism in South Africa. Recently, skipper Mithali Raj also called for the bottom half to support the top-order’s consistent displays, “Our lower order is a bit weak but our top order has been so good that we didn’t need our lower order (to fire). But at the same, the lower order must also contribute.”

“All the team members are getting batting in the nets. Before going to South Africa, we simulated match situations and all members batted during that. But everything takes a bit of time, you need to be a little patient. We are hoping that in coming years, our lower order will be a lot better than what it was earlier,” Arothe said.

Fielding also remains a work-in-progress for India: “I know we have not been consistent in the field but we are working really hard on it. We are confident of the girls and are expecting positive results.”

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Movies can make you leap beyond what is possible

Movies have the power to inspire us like nothing else.

Why do we love watching movies? The question might be elementary, but one that generates a range of responses. If you had to visualise the world of movies on a spectrum, it would reflect vivid shades of human emotions like inspiration, thrill, fantasy, adventure, love, motivation and empathy - generating a universal appeal bigger than of any other art form.

“I distinctly remember when I first watched Mission Impossible I. The scene where Tom Cruise suspends himself from a ventilator to steal a hard drive is probably the first time I saw special effects, stunts and suspense combined so brilliantly.”  

— Shristi, 30

Beyond the vibe of a movie theatre and the smell of fresh popcorn, there is a deeply personal relationship one creates with films. And with increased access to movies on television channels like &flix, Zee Entertainment’s brand-new English movie channel, we can experience the magic of movies easily, in the comforts of our home.

The channel’s tagline ‘Leap Forth’ is a nod to the exciting and inspiring role that English cinema plays in our lives. Comparable to the pizazz of the movie premieres, the channel launched its logo and tagline through a big reveal on a billboard with Spider-Man in Mumbai, activated by 10,000 tweets from English movies buffs. Their impressive line-up of movies was also shown as part of the launch, enticing fans with new releases such as Spider-Man: Homecoming, Baby Driver, Blade Runner 2049, The Dark Tower, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Life.

“Edgar Wright is my favourite writer and director. I got interested in film-making because of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the dead. I love his unique style of storytelling, especially in his latest movie Baby Driver.”

— Siddhant, 26

Indeed, movies can inspire us to ‘leap forth’ in our lives. They give us an out-of-this-world experience by showing us fantasy worlds full of magic and wonder, while being relatable through stories of love, kindness and courage. These movies help us escape the sameness of our everyday lives; expanding our imagination and inspiring us in different ways. The movie world is a window to a universe that is full of people’s imaginations and dreams. It’s vast, vivid and populated with space creatures, superheroes, dragons, mutants and artificial intelligence – making us root for the impossible. Speaking of which, the American science fiction blockbuster, Ghost in the Shell will be premiering on the 24th of June at 1:00 P.M. and 9:00 P.M, only on &flix.

“I relate a lot to Peter Parker. I identified with his shy, dorky nature as well as his loyalty towards his friends. With great power, comes great responsibility is a killer line, one that I would remember for life. Of all the superheroes, I will always root for Spiderman”

— Apoorv, 21

There are a whole lot of movies between the ones that leave a lasting impression and ones that take us through an exhilarating two-hour-long ride. This wide range of movies is available on &flix. The channel’s extensive movie library includes over 450 great titles bringing one hit movie premiere every week. To get a taste of the exciting movies available on &flix, watch the video below:

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of &flix and not by the Scroll editorial team.