Indian women's cricket team coach Ramesh Powar believes that the team needs an ideological change to play fearless cricket after their defeats in both ODI and T20I series on Wednesday (July 14) in England.
In the ODI series, India captain Mithali Raj showed her class in the three ODIs by scoring three fifties, but not having support from the middle-order batters put the side down and Powar called for the support from the others to help the side to put pressure on the rival side.
Powar said at the end of the series, “We have to be fearless. I can't force them in the first series. They have been playing with some ideology and we can't make drastic changes. We have to assess what suits them. To get them out of it (current slow batting in middle overs) (we have to) convince them and to do that, it takes a lot of communication. Fearless is how modern cricket will be played.”
Indian players like Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia, and Punam Raut struggled with the bat in the ODI series and they have to fix the issue as soon as possible as there are only seven months to go for the next 50-over ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 in New Zealand.
The former India off-spinner further explained, “Mithali is batting well but we need support from at least one more batter to put pressure on opponents in the middle order after Powerplays.
There are two ways. Either mold them (current lot) or draft in other middle-order players to up the ante. As simple as that. This time we tried a few combinations and it didn’t work out and going forward, we might try something new, bring new players, might mold them.”
Powar hinted that he will try to solve the middle-order issue with available resources till the Women’s World Cup 2022.
The coach further noted, “Till the World Cup, we need to find a way to get a middle-order where we can say that they can surely get us 250. It's up to all the stakeholders. The captain, the vice-captain, selectors, and myself, we will discuss these things.”
On the fast bowling, Powar said: “We need to enhance the fast bowling department. We are only looking at Jhulan Goswami to perform. There has to be some support for her. We are looking to add some [fast] bowlers, if we are going to get a camp after this tour, we will start working on them. In the seven months, we want to create a pool of fast bowlers. We already have five in the team, we are looking at five more, so 10 bowlers to work on for the next few months and we will get the results.”
He continued, “Yes, time is short, but the way forward is including more fast bowlers from domestic teams and domestic performers. We are especially looking at tall fast bowlers. Those who have performed can be included in the next camp, so yes, we are looking at 10-15 fast bowlers going ahead.”
The coach was happy that Harmanpreet Kaur showed some form in the last two T20 games against England Women. He said, “It is pleasing for everyone. Her scoring runs matter to each and everybody. The way she batted, we can see that flair and going forward, we will see a different Harmanpreet.”
He signed off by saying, “In the last two innings, she looked like the old Harman. She will now play The Hundred and get game time and that's what we like as a team. Game time. That's where England was ahead and we lacked. They played domestic cricket and we didn't have too many practice games.”
(With PTI Inputs)