“To create that rhythm again we would definitely need some time,” ODI vice-captain says

Harmanpreet Kaur, the India ODI vice-captain, has admitted that the lack of any opportunities to “spend some time in the field” as “a unit” since the T20 World Cup in March last year, especially in the lead-up to the South Africa series, contributed to the eight-wicket hiding they got from the opposition in the series opener in Lucknow on Sunday. Captain Mithali Raj, who on match eve had said the Indian squad hadn’t been feeling “rusty” going into their first assignment in a year, too, stressed on the dearth of “game time” as a cause of their defeat.

“We didn’t get any international cricket for a year and during that time we played only three IPL (Women’s T20 Challenge) games [in November]. Apart from that we didn’t get much time where we can work as a unit,” Kaur, who became the first India Women’s batter to appear in 100 ODIs and as many T20Is, said at a press conference after the match. “When you play any format, as a team you need to spend some time in the field and get ready for a series. But we are one of the sides who like to learn from their mistakes and I hope we learn from our mistakes and try to improve ourselves in the next game.

“Over the past few years we had created a rhythm but [we are playing] after a long time. To create that rhythm again we would definitely need some time and from the next game we’d do what we, as a unit, want to do.”