The top Indian woman cricketers need to improve on all fronts and a long camp will pave the way for this, according to WV Raman, the head coach of the national team, who recently oversaw ODI and T20I series defeats at home to South Africa in India’s first bit of international cricket in a year.
South Africa, who had played Pakistan at home in January-February, looked the better – and fitter – team and topped India on all counts over the eight-game tour in Lucknow in what was the first time India hit the field in any format since the T20 World Cup final on March 8 last year.
“We have to start from scratch. A long camp will pave the way for this,” Raman told News18.com. “They have had a long break. The girls need to improve on all fronts. The girls themselves want these camps. They need to top up on their fitness and fine-tune their skills as well. To achieve certain goals, we need to have camps on a periodic basis.
“What we had in Lucknow cannot be dubbed as a camp. We had three to four days of nets. But this happened probably due to the fact that everything was arranged in the eleventh hour. A lot of protocols had to be followed. But going ahead, we would like to have about ten days of net sessions before going into a series.”
The series against South Africa was mired in confusion, as Raman hinted there.
The series was originally supposed to be hosted in Thiruvananthapuram, but had to be shifted after the ground in the city had to be handed over to the Indian military for a recruitment drive.
Then, before the BCCI made anything official, the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association announced that the series would be played in Lucknow.
Then, the two squads were announced only after both the Indian and South African contingents had arrived in the host city.
“Am sure each one of us will go back, work on what we need to do as individuals so that when we meet again, we have a different set of plans, we work on different things like training, fielding sessions, running between the wickets”, Mithali Raj stats.
“If we don’t have to stress more on the result of the series, I think the greatest takeaway is the game time,” Raj told the same website.
“Having five ODIs is very important. Earlier, we used to have three ODIs in a series. Having five ODIs gave me an opportunity to try new players. It gave me a fair idea as to what I was looking at, what the team requires, where we need to work on. All the players required game time.
“Am sure each one of us will go back, work on what we need to do as individuals so that when we meet again, we have a different set of plans, we work on different things like training, fielding sessions, running between the wickets.”
“I had a chat with her. I told her to be a lot more positive,” Raman said. “The reason I told her was that the average score in women’s cricket has spiked a bit. We need to become a side that can get to 260 on a bad day. For that to happen, the batters have to learn to manage 50 overs. The top six is tightly packed.”
“We would need to try and have a preparatory camp or even before that, a fitness and skills camp for a few weeks,” Raman said. “It would give the girls a good opportunity to improve upon not only the physical fitness and endurance but also work on the skills part when it comes to handling Test cricket.
“It’s making the girls extend what they do in the other two formats. It’s also a question of a change in mindset required for duration cricket.”
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