'It's more challenging' - Harmanpreet wants points system for multi-format series

Jemimah Rodrigues and Pooja Vastrakar, both returning after injuries, are fit to play the first ODI on Sunday, Harmanpreet confirmed

Jemimah Rodrigues bats in the nets, Bengaluru, June 15, 2024

Jemimah Rodrigues, back after an injury layoff, is back in the India team  •  Srinidhi Ramanujam/ESPNcricinfo

India captain Harmanpreet Kaur is all in favour of the points system in multi-format series, saying that it will make things "more challenging".
India's home series against South Africa begins with the first of three ODIs on Sunday in Bengaluru, following which a one-off Test and three T20Is will be played in Chennai. The points system is not in place for the exchanges.
"It's totally up to BCCI or ICC [to decide]," Harmanpreet said on the eve of the series opener. "But as a player, if these things are there, players are more into the game and players are more pumped up. If the points system is there, it's more challenging and will be good to have."
Currently, the women's Ashes series uses a points system with four points up for grabs for Tests (four for a win and two for a draw), and two for a limited-overs match. Whoever finishes with most points win the Ashes. This system was first introduced in the 2013 series in England to keep the whole series relevant.
In 2021, the points system was also used for India's tour of England, the first time it had been used outside of the Ashes. India lost the series 10-6 on points. India's last all-format series - against Australia at home in December 2023-January 2024 - did not use the points system with each format treated as separate.
It was also the last time India played an ODI as the focus has largely on the next T20 World Cup, to be played this October in Bangladesh.
Sunday's match will only be India's seventh ODI since the start of 2023 . As far as the next year's ODI World Cup is concerned, they have already gained automatic qualification as hosts. However, in order to shake off the rust in the format, India had two separate camps in Bengaluru and Mumbai in the lead-up to the South Africa series, playing a few practice games while at it.
"We take it as an opportunity," Harmanpreet said. "Nowadays we are playing more T20 games but ODIs are something that, as a player, you have more time to assess yourself and even the conditions. It's good for us that we are getting more matches to express ourselves.
"It's good for us that we are getting more time in the middle and getting to play all three formats as players."
There was good news for India ahead of the first match with Harmanpreet confirming that both Jemimah Rodrigues and Pooja Vastrakar were fit for selection. Rodrigues missed the recent tour of Bangladesh with a back niggle, while the nature and status of Vastrakar's injury were not clear when the BCCI announced the squad.

Srinidhi Ramanujam is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo