Aug
25
WTD | S4E3 | Harmanpreet Kaur & Smriti Mandhana | What The Duck | Viu India


When I go out there to bat I’ll be totally focused and be quite serious. But she goes, “Come on, smile”.
How can I? – Well, I can’t…
– Harmanpreet: “Come on, talk and smile”. I’ll be thinking about how to tackle
the next bowler and she asks me to smile. Once you publicly said that Smriti Mandhana is afraid of dancing. Vikram: I think every Indian Cricketer
should know how to dance. You’re a natural dancer. And I think Punjabis
and West Indians are born dancers. Well, she’s a natural dancer but she’ll only dance on Punjabi songs. – Vikram: Okay.
– Any other song, she won’t. That’s because I know how to dance
only on Punjabi songs. – Vikram: Okay.
– I don’t know how to dance on other songs but when they force me,
I end up doing Punjabi dance. Tell us something
about her dancing style. – Well..
– I was trying to change the topic. No. Remember? Focus. She will stand in the middle
of the group and someone has to make her hands move otherwise she will stand still.
I tell her to dance… – Vikram: Not possible at all.
– She just can’t. I remember, once coach… We were playing
against Sri Lanka in Ranchi and coach said, “Until Smriti dances,
we aren’t going to board the bus”. I just sat down and I was like “I’m not dancing and if you want to stay
here the whole day, you can stay”. – You remember?
– Yeah, I do. I sat down right there. I mean, it has to come from inside.
I can’t dance when someone compels me. I think, if we win the World Cup finals… – Vikram: Amazing…
– I will dance for sure. We’ll do many things
if we win the World Cup finals. Now that we have talked about you… Let’s talk about her.
I’m a bit scared of her because she is so aggressive
while batting… – Everybody’s scared of her…
– Vikram: Everybody’s scared? Vikram: My assessment wasn’t wrong then. But I’m sure there’s something
that she’s scared of. Something. We were playing a World Cup match. She’s scared of ghosts. Well, I am chicken-hearted too but she’s extremely timid. And I have the itch
to tell her ghost stories. So, I told her all the ghost
stories I knew at that time. There were anecdotes involving
our team at the hotel and, you know, previously
there was an incident involving Rani. I enquired all about it. When I narrated these stories,
she was bedridden due to treatment. And then she made me stay
with her all the time. I stayed by her side all night. Well, we stayed in individual rooms. And those stories were really scary. And then three of us ended up
sleeping in one room. I didn’t let them sleep
because I couldn’t fall asleep. And whenever they fell asleep,
I woke them up. Was there a ghost in that hotel? I don’t know but it was a scary place. – Vikram: It’s in England, right?
– Yes, England. Perhaps, there was a ghost.
But I haven’t seen.. We didn’t see any but two of the girls
had strange experiences. I mean, they told us something
had tied them up for hours and didn’t let them out of the room.
You know, stories like that… – Are you serious?
– And she actually cried for an hour. If someone is crying for an hour,
there must be something to it. Are you sure it was not
opposition fast bowlers? Vikram: You know, you guys have batted
so many times together. Let’s talk about
the dynamics between you two. She’s the aggressor. I think you’re quite aggressive too. Correct me if I’m wrong. But have you guys ever got run-out
because of each other? Vikram: And got mad at each other? Not a run-out but I’ll tell you what
happens when you bat with her. When I go out there to bat I’ll be totally focused
and quite serious. She goes, “Come on, smile”. How can I? She will come back, you know,
while tapping the pitch and go, “Come on, smile”. Why should I? – Well, I can’t…
– “Come on, talk and smile”. I’ll be thinking about how to tackle
the next bowler and she asks me to smile. Do you enjoy batting with her? Very much. I mean… Do you remember any big match? We played a league match against Australia. And we had some 60 or 70 runs
partnership. It happened quickly in 30 balls. I started off really well and then she came and started hitting sixes.
I told her to take singles. I’ll take the strike.
Let her do her job. But… It was great fun. And the Asia Cup match too. Asia Cup? The match against Pakistan. What happened in that match? It was a T20 match. We took all their wickets, I think – for 70 or 80 runs.
– Smriti: Yes. – But we lost wickets quickly.
– Vikram: Yes. By the time I went to bat,
we had lost three wickets and had scored 5 or 6 runs. And they were in control of the game – so we decided to play aggressively.
– Vikram: Yes. And we both were saying
this to each other “Look, there’s no one to bat after us” “let’s play carefully.” We both were talking about
playing carefully but at the same time,
we were hitting big shots. So, you both were telling
each other to play slowly but you were hitting. – That’s because…
– Clearly, there’s a communication gap. We both know about each other’s mentality. Our mindset is simple, attack the ball. So, we both have to keep
each other in check. I mean, at least one among us
should play slow, you know. And it always fails because none
of us wants to play slow. Smriti, do you enjoy
batting with Jemimah? I enjoy batting with her
but she’s a serious person too. – I mean…
– Vikram: What’s wrong with the Indian Team? I thoroughly enjoy batting with her. Because we both stay quiet
and quietly signal each other whom to hit and whom to play for singles. When I play with them, I have to give
them their space, they are serious. You know, when I bat, I start
counting seats or do something. – Vikram: Oh my!
– I have to do something, you see. You’re a batsman and a logistics officer. You know, I keep myself occupied. And I try to concentrate
when I take the strike. I need to change the gears when I play
with them. I have to get serious. It’s the same with Jemimah. She will be into herself
and we both, you know… But will you challenge each other? Jemi and I challenged one another
in New Zealand, in a T20 match. We were having dinner the night
before that match and she teased me saying,
“You’re not good at playing a sweep shot.” I replied, “Yes, you’re right.
But I’m going to work on it.” And I teased her by bringing up
the way she plays the pull shot. In the next match, I played a sweep
shot and hit an off spinner for a six. Then I told her not to hurt my ego again. And then she played a very good
pull shot off Tahuhu’s ball and told me not to hurt her ego either. Vikram: Amazing. Have you guys ever failed
to read a bowler altogether and thought that it’s not your day?
Has it ever happened? It used to happen earlier because we had only turning
wickets in India and only green pitches
in the other countries. Nowadays we play on flat wickets
so it’s not much of a problem. It used to happen before.
Once we played a match with a pink ball. We played the first four matches
with a white ball and then suddenly there was
a pink ball for the finals. We lost four wickets for four runs. Before I could defend,
the ball used to swing away. So I didn’t move my bat. The bowlers kept bowling
and I was like this. Every ball is swinging away. And I played 10-12 overs
without scoring much. – Vikram: You were lucky.
– Yes, I was. Have you faced any such difficulty? Like she said, nowadays we mostly
play on flat wickets and rarely play test matches. But when I was batting with Jemi
against New Zealand in the first ODI Tahuhu opened the bowling. We are used to facing balls
coming at speeds of 115 to 120 kmph. But she bowls at 126 kmph. A little… Her first ball was in the keeper’s hand
before Jemi could reach for it. And I was laughing
at the non-striker’s end. I mocked her saying,
“Jemi, bring out your bat.” When I faced her, the ball hit my thigh pad
before I could bring out my bat. We both were in trouble at that time. – These days, such things happen very rarely.
– Right. Let’s talk about touring abroad. A lot of cricketers have said that it’s
too difficult to play outside the country specially, when you’re on a long tour. Once, Anil Kumble told me
that Srinath was a vegetarian and he used to deliberately go to
the third man towards the end of the match to talk to Indians and arrange for dinner. Somebody like you, a Punjabi. Punjabis are known for their
love of spicy and tasty food. When you went to Australia
to play the T20 league how did you manage? A large number of people turn up
to see the match. Amongst the Indian crowd,
mostly there will be Punjabis. They would’ve packed something
for themselves and they would invite me to join them or they would invite me to their homes. – Luckily, my sister stays in Australia.
– Vikram: Great! So there’s no problem
as far as food is concerned. [Vikram laughing] – So, you’re sorted.
– I’m sorted. – And what about you?
– Food wise? Vikram: I mean, when you’re abroad you feel lonely, right? At some of time, you feel
like where am I. I’m just batting… Though you can make a lot of friends,
but generally what’s the feeling? First of all, I really miss talking in Hindi. [Vikram laughing] Truly… When we used to meet,
I mean, play against each other. I mean, Sydney Thunder versus Hurricanes,
the team I play for now. I would tell her,
“Please talk to me in Hindi” “I’m sick and tired of talking in English”. I didn’t feel this when I used
to travel with the Indian team, you know. I thought I didn’t need anybody and that I’m independent, you see. – In the first year of Big Bash…
– Vikram: Yes… I stayed alone in my flat and I did all the chores myself. Then I missed everyone so much. – [Vikram laughing]
– Everybody were in a state of shock… – Specially, the Indian team manager.
– Yes… I missed Ms. Trupti a lot. I constantly called up
all my friends and family and spoke with them
for half hour or so. They were all shocked that I am
calling them so many times. You didn’t care for them
when you were in India. I realized the value of people then. I mean, the value of people
who care for you. – You must have felt the same.
– Of course. Because when you go out
of the country, you miss them a lot. And when we go on a tour as a team after ten days, we get bored of one another. [Vikram laughing] That’s when you realize.. Do you remember matches against
England in Nagpur? We played like four months continuously. We went to South Africa, then we came
back and played Australia in Baroda we came down here for a tri-series and the last leg of ten days was left – and we played one-day matches at Nagpur.
– Vikram: Yes. Literally, we were like,
“Don’t show your face”. – [Vikram laughing]
– Get lost. I mean, I was counting
the number of days to go home. – Seven days to go. Six days to go.
– Harmanpreet: So true. It’s good that it was not during the match. You telling the non-striker to go home. Well, we are very professional.
We didn’t do it during the match. After the match, while having breakfast,
we used to do it. “Please go, I can’t stand
your face anymore.” Here comes an important question. I’m sure others would’ve asked
this before. I’m going to ask, too. Being world number one
is a great feeling, isn’t it? It’s a far-fetched dream for people like us. So, my question is, this feeling
of nobody is better than me… Have you ever felt that way? – Vikram: No?
– No, not yet. Vikram: What was your reaction
when you learnt it the first time? More than being the world number one,
when they declared the ICC awards – well, I don’t get excited easily.
– Vikram: I see. I don’t get either excited
or disappointed, I mean… – Average.
– Vikram: Fantastic. – You can ask her, if you want.
– She doesn’t know what she’s saying. I stay in between. I don’t get over excited. But when I learnt that I’ve won an award I put my mum, dad and brother
on a conference call. I called up my mum and put her on hold
and then called up my dad and brother. I was like, “I’ve won this award”. My brother said, “How come you won it?” [Vikram laughing] Very funny. A score of 171. I guess, you both love playing against Australia. When Kapil Dev scored 175 against
Zimbabwe at Trunbridge Wells it changed the perspective
of Indian Men’s cricket completely. That India can win from any position,
especially, in the context of World Cup. And when you scored 171 everybody started saying Indian
Women’s Cricket is something different. You felt that way, too? I realized it after long. Because when we came back
from the World Cup plenty of things were happening around me after scoring 171 runs in the World Cup. People started recognizing me. – I got a lot of attention.
– Vikram: Amazing. We had a break of three months
after the World Cup. We didn’t play any matches
during that time. We started to get more crowd
at the stadium and such things were absolutely new to us. Before that, we used to play
in empty stadiums and go home. Only our families knew that
we were playing cricket. But nobody else had a clue. Did you get any benefits out of it? Benefits? I would get things
for free, you know. Wherever I went, people recognized me
and reminded me of my score and offered me free meals. I didn’t pay the bill when I visited
restaurants, with a friend. I used to go everywhere. I didn’t have to pay extra money
for excessive luggage in flights. I think, it went on like this for a while. To this day, I mean… People remember that inning
and talk to me about it. And it surprises me. It will come handy
when she writes her autobiography. A question like,
“What motivated you to score 171 runs?” Free t-shirts! Did you have any such experience? After she scored 171 in the World Cup I too got some attention.. – Perhaps we look similar in the jersey.
– Vikram: Really? People have walked up to me
and started the conversation with 171. And I would say no…
I would tell them it’s not me. And several times people
have greeted me with ‘Sat Sri Akaal’. And I have told them that I’m not Harman. I’m sure you both must have
taken advantage of this situation. It happened quite recently.
I was heading back home, few days ago. When I took out my boarding pass,
there were a lot of people an employee of the airport
walked up to me and said “Smriti…” I didn’t say anything for the next
few minutes. He said, “Let me help you.” After he helped me,
I told him that I’m Harman. He said, “I’m really sorry.
I thought you’re Smriti.” I said to him that I’m Harman.
He said, “I don’t mind helping you either.” Well, you both have benefitted from it. Vikram: Very good. I have a question for you both. As a kid, when I used to play
cricket, years back obviously. There was this girl and she was
the best player in the group. I mean, she was amazing. And she destroyed the male ego
of all the boys living in that building. And they used to tease her
because of that but I had done something strategic. I became friends with her. I used to always win matches
because she was in my team. Obviously, when girls start doing good then the dynamics of male ego
would come into the picture. Has it happened with you? It has happened several times.
Because… We had a team of our own and we used to practice
among ourselves thrice a week. And we used to play a match
with other teams as well, for fun. Other teams didn’t play against us
because I was a part of the boys’ team. Oh, like that? And when we asked them why,
they’d say “What if she gets hurt?” I had great friends, they didn’t
play any matches without me. [Vikram laughing] But later on when they realized that I’m a good player they too became competitive. And then we had some good matches. When I hit them for a six or a boundary they used to tease each other. I used to have fun
for good one and half month. Speaking of sixes, from where
did you get the training of hitting sixes? Hugh sixes. 90 metres long. How did you manage to hit? I learnt to hit sixes from my dad. My dad used to score most
of his runs in sixes. While watching him play,
I never looked down always looked up, because he hit
every ball in the air. That style of batting influenced me and I thought ball should always
fly in the air, not move on the ground. [Vikram laughing] Although it was club cricket many people turned up
to watch the match. You know, a very big crowd. So, everybody would wait
for my dad to show up to hit sixes.
The crowd enjoyed his batting. So, as a kid, I thought people like to see a batsman hitting sixes
and not take singles. – So, it’s better to hit 90 metre sixes.
– No. Then what about you? You come from a family of cricketers. They must have said,
“Only 125 not out?” [Vikram and Harmanpreet laughing] In your previous question, you talked
about girls playing gully cricket. I had an advantage of being a girl. They would make me a joker. I would get a chance to play for both
the sides, but no fielding. Vikram: That’s why you are a good batsman. They used to make me joker
and I’d open batting for both the sides. – Vikram: And you used to score the runs?
– Yes, I would… They must have thought that they
would get her out quickly but I guess their plan backfired. I used to set the score
and chase that as well. – You always had support from the family?
– Smriti: Yes… I think it was more of their dream
that I play for India, than mine. Because my brother used
to play and I used to play too. I mean… All credit goes
to my dad and mum. My mom was so strict as far
as my diet was concerned. She insisted on eating only
certain things and pushed me to play well. – You know, so…
– Vikram: I see. Otherwise, you would’ve enjoyed your sleep. [Smriti laughing] I guess, I would have only batted. I mean, I was very passionate
about batting. I wasn’t interested in fitness, fielding… So, you were one of those people
who used to bat and when you got out,
you’d take the bat and run away… I used to take my brother’s bat
to play gully-cricket but came back home
as soon as I got out. – Not good…
– Harmanpreet: Typical batsman. Are you both superstitious? I know a lot of players
who wear the left pad first and even with the tapings, you see. Like, Jose Butler doesn’t eat
onion rings during the match. There are so many superstitions.
Do you have any? I was quite superstitious before my injury. Like not taking the leg guard first. – Vikram: I see.
– Entering the ground from the right side. You know, as openers,
we go together – always staying on right, not left.
– Vikram: Okay. I had so many superstitions,
but not anymore… Vikram: Not because of camera, right? I never thought about it, but no. So, basically, you are walking like this – you have to be this person.
– I’ve to be on the right side. I was superstitious earlier.
I had to be on the right side. Once Ms. Mithali and I were
opening the innings and she was already standing
to my right you know, I went around her
and stood on her right. It happened around four years ago. Our support staff
is more superstitious than us. – Vikram: Support staff?
– Yes, support staff. You know, if the match has started and if we are doing well,
they wouldn’t move an inch and they would not allow anybody
else to move around either. “Don’t move the chair,
put that thing back on the table.” For instance, if you go to our physio to get your back released. – If you have a match tomorrow
– [Harmanpreet laughing] and you score a century. Then she will call you back
to release your back again. I told her my back is fine. ??He’s like that. You know, male players are superstitious
about jersey numbers. I once asked Rahul Dravid
why he wears the number 19 on his jersey. He replied, “It’s the best way
to remember my wife’s birthday.” Well, that is different. But people are very superstitious
about their jersey, were you? Actually, my initial number was 84. In the whole of Punjab
it’s considered as an unlucky number. Ever since I was a kid,
I heard stories about this number. And that it was a tough year for Punjab. So, I used to think why everybody
considers it as unlucky. My dad always refuse things attached to 84. His favorite number is 86. He always told me that any number
will do except 84. It was my first camp. All the seniors chose their numbers first numbers like, 7, 77,
everything was gone. I had to pick a number and I had
to return the paper as well. I said to myself, “They are
not going to select me, anyway.” So, I wrote 84 and returned the paper. Then I got a phone call saying
that I’m selected. Everybody at home were happy. I went back to the camp.
It was my first camp. When I looked at my t-shirt,
84 was written on it. [Vikram laughing] I was quiet for a while thinking
about how to face my parents. And I was supposed to send
them a photo wearing my jersey. It was my first jersey,
so there was no escaping. I didn’t know what to do. Then I sent a photo
of the front side of the jersey. I took a selfie and sent it to them. But when he saw the number on TV he was like, “Didn’t you find
any other number?” He pestered me for years
to change the number. – Finally, I changed it.
– Vikram: You changed it. I’ve read somewhere that you watch
a lot of video analysis. You see a lot of things. And someone mentioned to me that Smriti actually figured out her grip when she was watching a video
or talking to a coach, is that true? Let me tell you a story.
Were we roommates in Sri Lanka? – Sri Lanka?
– We were in an apartment? – Yes.
– We were roommates. So, she and Jemi, we are a group
of five people who have a lot of fun. They both came to the room
with a bat in their hands. When I asked them what’s wrong,
they said, “We just watched a video”. They had a tennis ball and a bat too. And they were batting inside the room. [Vikram laughing] I fell asleep because we had just arrived. And when I woke up at around
1 a.m, they were still playing. And when I questioned them,
they said “Nothing. We watched Jemi’s video
and we’re correcting each other’s faults.” And then I asked them
“You guys never slept?” They were practicing all night. Oh, God! Never share a room with her. [Smriti and Harmanpreet laughing] No, it has happened
only a few times. Generally, if I’m batting well,
I don’t really watch videos. I just play. But if I’m struggling or something
is wrong with my timing that’s when I ask the person
to clip my videos. And when I look at my video,
I get a feeling that someone else is batting
with a different stance. You’re one of the few people
who change stance with every match. I really don’t know what goes wrong. My life would have been much
easier if I knew why. We can only get assistance
from the videos. So, Jemi and I watch videos.
She has a similar problem too. Whenever we get together
and watch our videos we tell each other that you watch
my video and I’ll watch yours. She has a bat on which
she has written ‘Grip’. I had such a shaky grip that I bought a dummy bat
and put a tape on it and marked a ‘V’ on it. If there is any change… She used to hold it early in the morning
to make sure her grip is okay. – It used to deviate so much.
– Vikram: Wow! Now that we’ve checked
your mental strength let’s check your physical strength. We are going to play a game
called ‘The hammer game’. Current world number one
versus longest six hitter in the world. – What are we going to get in return?
– Love. Lots of love. – Vikram: Shall we?
– Sure. This is the hammer game. Lot of records have been broken
and set here. – Smriti, would you like to start first?
– I never take strike. Okay. I’ll go first. Look at her spirit. – I should hit here, right?
– Yes. Leg stump, please. Come on. Bravo… My goodness. Well done… What a shot! Come on… Vikram: It’s 895. Well done.. – What’s the highest score?
– The highest score is 923. Come on, Smriti. Right arm over, your time starts now. Should I slam it like this or… Oh, nice shot. Well done. Well done. Come on… – 912.
– Well done. Shit. Once more. You’re recovering from an injury.
So it takes a little time. Thank you for coming on the show. As you know, we celebrate the duck
on this show ‘What The Duck’. So what we’re going to do
is test your ability to draw the duck. Vikram: It’s a difficult task.
The hammer game was easier. – So shall we?
– Sure.. Please take stance here,
don’t change it too often. Vikram: You can use as many colors
as you want. Vikram: Wow, Harman, it’s superb. Too good. You can’t copy. I looked because you were praising her. How will your duck stand?
It looks like a tripod. Well done, girls. – Frame it.
– Good.