Ramesh Powar, head coach of the Indian Women’s side, insisted that he wants the side to play fearless cricket across formats, but admitted that the transition cannot practically happen instantaneously. Powar further admitted that the management will be hunting for pacers before the World Cup.
Defeat at the County Ground in Chelmsford on Wednesday meant that team India lost the multi-format series against England, but there were plenty of positives from the game for the visitors. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s return to form served as a big plus, but what was encouraging was how the side dragged itself to a competitive total after a sluggish start. After posting just 48 runs in the first 9 overs, team India scored 105 in the next 11, taking the attack to the hosts. Eventually, that wasn’t enough to win the game, but the onslaught served as a reminder of the team’s potential.
Pleased with the recovery was head coach Ramesh Powar, who stressed that his aim is to make this team play fearless cricket. The head coach, however, admitted that the transition would take time, given the fact that this side is currently adopting a different style of cricket that leans more towards the conservative side.
"We will play fearless cricket, that is what we will do. This time I wanted them to realise this. You can't force them as a coach in your first series. They have been playing with some ideology for the last two or three years, I have to assess what suits them. You can't make drastic approach changes,” Powar said on Wednesday.
"They've been playing differently. To get them out of it, I need to convince them. It took time this time around. In this game [third T20I], we were 28 for 2 after five overs but ended up with 153. We discussed that we would play fearless cricket no matter what. If you don't, every team will dominate you.
"It will take time. Because of Covid and lack of match practice, we couldn't train as a larger group. But we are going towards dominance, it will take time, but the idea is right."
The Indian batters came under fire during the ODI series for their lacklustre approach in the middle-overs, and Powar admitted that the side will need to shed the passiveness moving forward. The head coach admitted that, in limited-overs cricket, India would need to post big totals in order to be able to compete with the best sides in the world.
"Then middle-overs batting, after Powerplay in ODIs [is another important area]. That is where strike rotation and conversion rate of dot balls to runs after you get set is key. We played a Test after seven years, and we have lots to learn,” Powar said.
"We still managed to draw due to some brilliant performances, but in T20s, we need 160-plus to put pressure on other teams. If we must play in New Zealand, we need good fast bowlers and try to up our conversion rate in the middle overs. Mithali is batting very well, but we need support where we can put pressure on opponents to get to 250-plus."
According to Powar, however, the biggest area India are lagging behind is in the pace department. Barring veterans Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey, the pace battery rendered ineffective, and the over-reliance on spinners in non-helpful conditions hurt the side. Powar admitted that the management are keen to ‘enhance the fast-bowlers department’ and stressed that depth in the pace department will be key for the side come to the World Cup.
"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 [leading into the World Cup], 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.
"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."