Hyderabad: In ten years since she made her debut for India, Harmanpreet Kaur has carved a niche for herself as one of India’s premier batswomen and an equally effective bowler. That she had a match haul of nine wickets in a Test match against the Proteas, that too with Jhulan Goswami in the side, is an indication of her contribution with the ball too.
There was a time when she made the heads turn ahead of her senior pro and the world’s highest run-getter Mithali Raj underlines the impact she had on the Indian women’s cricket scenario. Harmanpreet Kaur holds the record for the highest individual score for India in World Cup history.
The Arjuna awardee is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable names in Indian Cricket for her all-round abilities.
Born on March 8, 1989 in Moga, Punjab, Harmanpreet has sport in her blood. Her father Harmandar Singh Bhullar played volleyball and basketball. But it was his passion for cricket that rubbed off on Harmanpreet at a very young age. She began to train under him and was greatly inspired by the free-flowing style of Virender Sehwag during her formative years.
Harmanpreet’s dream of becoming a cricketer took shape after joining the Gian Jyoti School Academy, some 30 kilometres from her residence in Moga. She trained under Amaldeesh Singh Sodhi there and her ability play with men has what made her stand out among women.
Harmanpreet made her ODI debut at the age of 20 against arch-rivals Pakistan in the 2009 World cup. There was no stopping this strapping talent. Although her elevation was not natural -- she was named the Indian team’s captain for the 2012 Women’s 20-20 Asia Cup final as captain Mithali Raj and her deputy Jhulan Goswami were out with injuries -- she lived up to the responsibility by defending a measly 81 against Pakistan to bring the Asia Cup home.
Once her leadership qualities were known, Harmanpreet was named India’s ODI captain in 2013 for Bangladesh toured India. Harmanpreet led from the front and notched her second ODI century in the 2nd game and finished the series with 195 runs at an average of 97.50 with two wickets to boot.
Harmanpreet’s thirst for more and more international fame saw her take nine wickets in a Test match against South Africa in November 2014 to help India win by an innings and 34 runs. She proved equally good in shorter version when she helped India win a one-day series in Australia in January 2016. She scored a 31-ball 46 as India chased down the highest ever total in T20 internationals. She continued her form in the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 World Cup where she scored 89 runs and took seven wickets in four matches.
But the feather in her cap came in the shape of signing Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League in June 2016, the first Indian to be given that opportunity. In June 2017, she became the first Indian to sign with Surrey Stars in ECB’s Kia Super League.
Harmanpreet’s unbeaten 171 is currently the second-highest score by an Indian batter in women’s one-day internationals, behind compatriot Deepti Sharma’s 188 runs. Kaur also holds the record for the highest individual score by an Indian in World Cup history.
In July 2017, Harmanpreet became the second Indian batter to feature in ICC’s top-10 ODI player rankings. She was signed by Sydney Thunder for the 2018-2019 Big Bash League.
In January 2020, she was named the captain of the Indian squad for the ongoing T20World Cup in Australia.
To know more about her, you can follow her on Twitter and instagram.