Bengaluru, June 18 (IANS) India head coach Ramesh Powar is eyeing “consistency” and “a winning habit” for the team in life after Mithali Raj’s international retirement as Harmanpreet Kaur & Co travel to Sri Lanka for three T20Is and as many ODIs from June 23 to July 7.
“We are looking at consistency, we are looking at (creating) a winning habit. For that, we all came together as captain, coach, and vice-captain. We have already spoken to the BCCI, and V.V.S Laxman who is the head of cricket (at NCA) and there have been a few things going on,” said Powar in a pre-departure virtual press conference.
Powar further elaborated on his vision and planning for the Indian team in this new cycle of the ICC Women’s Championship. “We are trying to work on our fielding and fitness and take our players to the next level. That is the immediate goal that we are trying to achieve. Moving forward, we want to win World Cups, but it is important that you build a squad that can compete in every condition and against every opposition. This is what we are working on.”
“When you move forward in a transition period, you need to give opportunities to young players to cement their places and for that, as support staff, we try to give them support through NCA or through skill coaches to conquer every situation. This is the right time for young players to take that opportunity and do well going forward.”
Powar felt the white-ball tour of Sri Lanka will be ideal for young players to put their hand up and be regular figures in the side in the future. “At the moment, we are trying to assess where we stand as a team and where we need to be to beat all teams in ICC tournaments or the series we play. So, it is important to assess where we stand. This Sri Lanka tour will give us an opportunity to challenge a few players.”
“We are trying to plan our next eight months according to the situations we will face ahead. It is more of a planning phase right now and will execute those plans once we go ahead with series and tournaments ahead.”
In India’s ODI as well as T20I squads, all-rounder Sneh Rana has been missing. Powar clarified that she has been rested from the Sri Lanka tour with an eye on managing the workload of players.
“She has been rested for this series. She is in NCA and working on her fitness. Moving forward, the FTP we have around 22 to 25 T20I games and some ODI series. We want our players to be fresh for those series and try to manage the workload of bowling as well as batting unit; we are trying to balance it out.”
Asked about the future of India’s fast bowling stocks and of veterans Jhulan Goswami as well as Shikha Pandey, Powar remarked, “As far as fast bowling is concerned, we have introduced Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh from the Australia tour. We have introduced a few bowlers in the system as well. It will take little time to see the results as they had to address fitness issues, match experiences.”
“As far as Jhulan and Shikha are concerned, they have done fantastic job over the years. BCCI and selectors can update on their fitness and everything. As of now, Shikha and Jhulan are not travelling with us. We are carrying four fast bowlers and Pooja Vastrakar has been an outstanding bowler for the last six months. You will see results like Pooja came out of it in last six months and moving ahead, will fast-track bowling attack for improvement.”