India’s T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur calls for appointment of a sports psychologist for the team
A year after a disappointing exit in the ICC Women’s World T20 and five months ahead of the next T20 World Cup, Indian captain in the shortest format Harmanpreet Kaur has asked for the appointment of a travelling sports psychologist, reported the New Indian Express.
“We have requested the BCCI for someone like a sports psychologist, who can travel with us,” Kaur told the newspaper in Surat during the ongoing India-South Africa T20I series. “We have spoken to coach as well. Nowadays, the pressure is high. You need someone to discuss things when they are not fine.”
Kaur has said that she turns to her father when faced with tough situations but not everyone in the team will have a support system.
The T20I captain, however, said that it was necessary to appoint someone who will gel with the entire team.
“To find a good consultant is not an easy job,” the skipper added.
“It’s not like you can bring in anyone. You need someone who you can trust and give us confidence that the person is going to be helpful. Hopefully, we will get someone soon because I feel it is a necessity.”
This is not the first time the women’s senior national cricket team has made the request, however. On the back of a heartbreaking 2017 Women’s World Cup final defeat at Lord’s, then head coach Tushar Arothe had identified this as an important area.
“We were in winning position but the players panicked and succumbed to the mental pressure in dying overs in World Cup finals. Having a professional who can help them build their mental strength will definitely help the team,” Arothe, who resigned ahead of last year’s World T20, had said then.
India have since maintained a good run of form in women’s ODIs but struggled in T20Is in the last year, in a format where the squad is dominated by the youngsters. The win against South Africa in Surat on Tuesday had, in fact, ended the team’s worst-ever losing streak in T20Is that started in the semi-final of World T20 against England.