Harmanpreet was very analytical, which made her historically play it safe: Her coach was the one who freed her from confinement.

Harmanpreet was very analytical, which made her historically play it safe: Her coach was the one who freed her from confinement.

Harmanpreet was very analytical, which made her historically play it safe: Her coach was the one who freed her from confinement. A coach penned a message for winning team captain Harmanpreet Kaur Bhullar after India Women’s 88-run victory over England Women in the second ODI at Canterbury in Adelaide on Wednesday night.

The highlight of the Indian innings was undoubtedly Harmanpreet’s unbeaten 143 off 111 balls, her fifth ODI century, which ultimately led to India Women claiming their first series victory in England since 1999.

Harmanpreet’s coach Yadwinder Singh Sodhi watched India’s innings and went to sleep confident that his player had turned a corner.

This morning I was required to report to work. However, it was enjoyable to observe her play in her usual, unforced manner, which resulted in a rout of the opposing bowlers. It made me think of her century (171) in the 2017 World Cup semi-final against Australia.


Sodhi told The Indian Express from Adelaide, “I messaged her that when she plays her “natural attacking game,” the team and the crowd like seeing her.

In 37 subsequent ODI innings, Bhullar scored only one century, and that was earlier this year against the West Indies.

After scoring a century in a Twenty20 International against New Zealand that same year, he went on a long scoring slump. She regained her form during the Commonwealth Games, scoring two fifties and 65 in India Women’s loss to Australia in the final (by nine runs).

While playing in the Women’s Big Bash League in Adelaide last year, Harmanpreet spent time with coach Sodhi and his family, including his children Sabreen and Mehar and his wife, Mandeep, during a difficult period in her life.

She stayed with us for a week in Adelaide last year when she came to play in the WBBL. None of her runs were very significant. Although at initially we aimed for her to feel comfortable and untense. She joined my family for the Diwali holiday celebration.

It provided a welcome distraction from cricket for her. She would tag along with my wife and two girls when we went on outings to explore the attractions of Adelaide, Sodhi recalls.

The trainer emphasised one thing to Harmanpreet: she should not be afraid to take the initiative in games. She was thinking too much, which made her play it too safe.

Later in the week, she participated in WBBL and hit 40-something off of only 18 balls. We were in the stadium to watch the game, and I could tell that her rhythm was back, as Sodhi put it.

The situation then began to change for the better.


Bhullar hit the most sixes (17) and the most fours (35) in the WBBL last season en route to being named the tournament’s Player of the Tournament. A total of 15 wickets fell to her.

Before joining the WBBL, Harman was experimenting with different strategies, as is sometimes the case when players are under intense pressure. She attempted to hit sixes and fours and performed strokes like the paddle sweep from behind the wicket square or square.

To which I replied that it was not her game. She is one of the few players who consistently hit the ball over the fence. She has scored many runs by stepping out or slog sweeping to the cow corner and mid-wicket areas. Because Harman is the type of player who gets fired up by hitting fours and sixes, we agreed there was no danger in doing it on the first delivery.

Harmanpreet proved on Wednesday that she is still among the finest goal scorers. Her 143 not-out included 18 fours and 4 sixes, making her the day’s highest score. Harmanpreet hit 45 runs off balls hit to deep midwicket, and 43 runs off balls hit to deep extra cover.

Even her father’s childhood coach, Kamaldeesh Singh Sodhi, was in attendance to see the game highlights at his Moga residence.

For Harmanpreet, the past few years have been filled with highs and lows. Every time the batsman faces the ball, I remind her that it’s his/her only chance at survival. He can hit a six and bowl an opponent out with that ball. She is looking at things the right way now.

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