The Indian women's cricket team boasts of Harmanpreet Kaur, a Punjabi player who represents Railways in domestic cricket. An all-rounder, the right-handed Kaur has been a key figure in the Indian limited-overs sides in the recent past.
A good medium pace bowler and a clean striker of the ball, Kaur made headlines by making it into the Big Bash Women's League recently. She made her ODI debut way back in 2009 and has represented the team 64 times in the format. The all-rounder, who turns 28 today, is a proud Punjabi and has captained India in the limited-overs formats.
On her birthday, we take a look at some of the major moments in Kaur's career thus far.
#5 107* vs England Women in Mumbai, Feb 2013
It was the 6th match of the 2013 Women's World Cup at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. Charlotte Edwards had guided England to 272 with a spectacular century and India had their task cut out for them.
They had lost their top three by the time the score was 29. Harmanpreet Kaur joined Karu Jain at the crease and the duo strung together a 106-run partnership that kept India in the game. Jain fell soon after her fifty but Kaur kept going strong.
Even as India kept losing wickets, Kaur remained not out and pushed India closer to the finish line. She smacked her first ODI ton but could not win the game for her side despite remaining unbeaten till the end.
#4 Named captain for T20 Asia Cup final in 2012
With Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami out injured, Harmanpreet Kaur was appointed the skipper of the women's team for the final of the T20 Asia Cup against arch-rivals, Pakistan. A shrewd cricketer, Kaur was a unanimous choice to lead the women's team.
In her debut match as skipper, Kaur led her team to the Asia Cup title. Winning the toss, she opted to bat first without two of her senior players in the side. The move seemed to have backfired as India were bowled out for 81 with Kaur managing 20.
Inspiring her troops, she helped India come back strong with the ball. All of India's bowlers took wickets and the fielders performed superbly to bowl out Pakistan for 63. Kaur's inspiring captaincy led India to the title in Guangzhou.
#3 Series vs Bangladesh, Mar 2013
When Bangladesh toured India in 2013, Kaur was appointed the skipper. She was instrumental in the series win, scoring 195 runs at an average of 97.50 including her 2nd ODI hundred.
She hit an unbeaten 63 in the 3rd ODI to anchor a chase of 196 after contributing in bits and pieces in the first two games. Kaur followed that up with her second ODI hundred in the fourth game of the series, 103 off 100 balls including 11 fours and two sixes. She also took two Bangladesh wickets with the ball.
She made 29 in the final game, a low scoring match at Motera, Hyderabad, to complete a 5-0 whitewash of the visitors. The series sweep further cemented the 27-year-old’s credentials as skipper of the ODI side.
#2 Role in highest ever run chase in T20s, Jan 2016
In January 2016, Harmanpreet Kaur played a blinder of an innings to help India complete the highest chase in the history of Women's T20I cricket. It was the first of a three-match series in Adelaide.
Australia Women made 140 batting first with Alyssa Healy smacking 41 from a mere 15 balls. India did not begin their chase well as they struggled to 91/4. Kaur was still at the crease but had lost senior partners in Goswami and Smriti Mandhana.
But India had the target within reach and Kaur was determined to not give up without a fight. She smashed 46 from 31 balls and wasn't dismissed until the 18th over of the game by which time India had reached 132. The chase was completed and Kaur became an instant sensation in Australia.
#1 The Big Bash twist
Kaur’s spectacular knock in the highest T20 run chase did not go unnoticed and it fetched her a Big Bash contract in June 2016. She became the first Indian women's cricketer to be allowed to play in a private league overseas.
She signed for the Sydney Thunder and made an immediate impact in her first game, smashing a 28-ball-47. The knock included two fours and three sixes and even impressed former Australian wicket-keeper, Adam Gilchrist, who was on air at the time.
Gilchrist went on to tweet about Kaur. “Seriously impressed with @ImHarmanpreet in last nights #WBBL02 Classy, skilful. A wonderful addition to the tournament,” he said about the Indian T20 skipper.
Against the Stars later in the season, Kaur made a 21-ball-30 and then took 4/27 with the ball to win the Player of the Match award.