A fantastic piece of fielding 👏 We finish our innings on 177/7Scorecard & Videos: https://t.co/oG3JwmemFp… https://t.co/xG1LdUV50a
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) 1625858547000
Harleen, before making her India debut, had trained under the tutelage of Suman at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.
It was the year 2015 when Harleen went to NCA and trained under Suman. Just like every budding cricketer Harleen, along with Jemimah Rodrigues, went to Suman and asked ‘how can I become the world’s best fielder?’. To this, Suman said ‘be determined about what you want to do in life’ and prepared a list of fielding drills for Harleen.
“Harleen and Jemimah came to NCA to attend a camp in 2015. I was there to train them. Just like every student and cricketer, she said I want to be the best fielder in the world. She used to take brilliant catches during the camp. Her judgment is very good. She can cover a long distance to take a catch brilliantly,” Suman told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.
“I gave some fielding drills to her (Harleen), some really tough ones. She did really well and impressed me. I knew she would play for the Indian team. And, she did. She was just brilliant. The best part is that she enjoys fielding. Every fielder has her strength. Harleen used to dive really well,” she said.
Suman was watching her student’s sensational effort on the television screen and applauded her for taking an outstanding and well-judged catch.
The result didn’t go our way today but here is something special from the game.@ImHarmanpreet | @imharleenDeol… https://t.co/1P0geDlSy1
— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) 1625864058000
Harleen jumped to take the catch at the boundary. She threw the ball in the air before crossing the boundary, jump-backed in and then dived forward to complete the catch to get rid of Amy Jones – all in one swift motion.
Suman compared Harleen with former South Africa cricketer and fielding legend Jonty Rhodes.
“She (Harleen) was very energetic. The catch she has taken, agility-wise, was outstanding. Her concentration was amazing. Actually, she made that catch. She created that catch. First, she saved a six, then threw the ball inside, then jumped inside the ropes and it didn’t end there. She had to dive to complete that catch. That was a brilliant effort,” Suman further told TimesofIndia.com.
That was a brilliant catch @imharleenDeol. Definitely the catch of the year for me!https://t.co/pDUcVeOVN8
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) 1625892067000
“I would compare her fielding effort to those of Jonty Rhodes. The way he used to take catches and save runs was mind-boggling and Harleen is following in Jonty Rhodes’s footsteps. I see a glimpse of Jonty Rhodes in Harleen. If the God of batting is Sachin Tendulkar, then the God of fielding is Jonty Rhodes. This catch of Harleen was similar to Jonty Rhodes’s style of catching,” she said.
Harleen made her ODI debut in February 2019 against England Women. The 23-year-old became the second female cricketer from Chandigarh to represent the Indian cricket team. The first was Taniya Bhatia. She was also part of the India squad at the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
Harleen has played just one ODI and 10 T20Is so far in her career. In 10 T20Is, Harleen has scored 127 runs at an average of 21.16, including one half-century. She also has 6 wickets and 3 catches under her belt in the shortest format of the game.