Shafali ended the recent England tour without a half-century across formats; in fact, in six innings, she was dismissed in the single digits four times. Particularly under scrutiny was her lack of footwork, which England seamer Kate Cross exposed by castling her in two back-to-back games with nipbackers.
“From the practice sessions we’ve had, I can say she is doing really well,” Harmanpreet said after landing in Sylhet. “It’s part of life – sometimes you play well, sometimes you can’t continue your good form. But she’s looking good and it’s just a matter of spending some time in the middle for her to get out of her [rough] patch. She is working hard every day. This is a platform where you can express yourself and play free cricket. We will try to give her enough match time so that she can get her confidence back.”
“Our first target will be to give enough chances to other players who haven’t got [opportunities] so far,” Harmanpreet said. “Definitely there are a lot of areas where we want to work on as a team, especially how we are going to use the first six overs [while batting].
“We will try to shuffle our middle order so that others can also get some time. In the last overs also, we have some hard hitters, so if we can give them enough chances… In our bowling, we will try different combinations. This tournament is important for us, it’s a great platform where players who haven’t got chances can come and perform. If they perform here, they can get a lot of confidence going into the World Cup.”
“I think I have felt that responsibility right from when I started,” she said. “It’s something I’ve enjoyed. Since the time I’ve been full-time captain, I am enjoying it a lot. My team-mates, support staff, selectors, the BCCI – everyone has been appreciative. You just need support, and the only thing left after that is performance and we are all focused on performances. We all talk only about having each other’s back and needing to go out and express ourselves.”
“I think when we went to England, we were looking to play just good cricket,” she said. “We didn’t put pressure on ourselves that we have to win, we have to do well. We were calculative in our practice sessions; we knew what we were doing and everything was planned. We were working on something; we didn’t think that we have come here to create history. We were just going through what we had to do. When you have plans and you’re working towards something, the results will come. We are not surprised by what we’ve done.”