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Heartening to see Harmanpreet Kaur bat with such freedom: Saba Karim

New Delhi, Sep 23: Former India cricketer Saba Karim has hailed the Indian women's cricket team for winning the ODI series against England in the latter's backyard. Harmanpreet Kaur-led side defeated English women in the second ODI at St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury by 88 runs.

It was the first series win for Indian women after 23 years on English soil and Karim commended skipper Harmanpreet for slamming yet another dominating ODI century as the Women In Blue posted a mammoth 333/5.

Speaking exclusively on SPORTS18's daily sports news show 'SPORTS OVER THE TOP', Karim said, "Incredible achievement and India has done this after 23 years if my memory serves me right. Wonderful performance by the ladies. It was so great to see Harmanpreet bat in that manner, she's batting with far more freedom which is very heartening to see."

He also highlighted the team's over-dependence on Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet, and said, "I feel at this stage the Indian side is largely dependent on Smriti Mandhana and Harman, whenever either one of them scores the other batters in the side tend to ride the wave, which is perfectly fine. So, it's good to see the Indian team doing so well in England."

It was Harmanpreet's fifth ODI century and the right-handed batter from Punjab sent a strong statement with yet another thumping performance in the 50-over format.

Karim also spoke about how team India has improved their performance over time. "Yes, and the others are learning from them. You see Harleen Deol putting some runs on the board. In the previous match, Yastika Bhatia who came to bat at number three, she's doing very well. I think both these batters, Harman and Smriti Mandhana can bat with more freedom and they can express themselves in the freedom that they are others who are backing them, that is something that is happening right now.

"The gradual improvement in performance from the other batters in the lineup, in addition to Harmanpreet and Smriti Mandhana, speaks volumes of the kind of effort these girls have made in the preparation and now the execution of the game plan," he signed off.

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Story first published: Friday, September 23, 2022, 20:55 [IST]
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