Ramesh Powar: We're working towards dominance
India coach feels Harmanpreet Kaur's team are well-equipped to deal with pressure situations during upcoming ICC World T20 in the Caribbean
Though the Indian women's cricket team had a far-from-ideal training camp with last-minute shift from Wankhede to the Brabourne Stadium, Harmanpreet Kaur & Co are confident of putting their best foot forward in the ICC World T20 which begins in the Caribbean on November 9.
With the Indian team's plan to tour the West Indies ahead of the World T20 falling apart due to the West Indies board's financial issues, Harmanpreet & Co got quality match practice against Australia 'A'.
The India 'A' team thrashed the visitors 3-0 in the T20 series that ended on Friday at MCA's Bandra Kurla Complex ground. In a tournament as big as the World Cup, it may sometimes boil down to how well a team can handle pressure. While in the batting department, the team can boast of the likes of senior Mithali Raj, skipper Harmanpreet and prolific opener Smriti Mandhana, who can absorb pressure, it is the bowling department where the inexperience factor can hurt after veteran Jhulan Goswami quit the T20 format in August.
Coach Ramesh Powar wasn't too concerned with the Indian team not having a clear-cut pace spearhead. "We are not here to create leaders. We work towards creating match-winners so that in future, every player gets the confidence that she can win a match on her own," said Powar on the eve of the team's departure to the West Indies.
"This team is working towards dominance. We will work together to dominate at the World Cup; the players are not going to just take part," Powar added. Skipper Harmanpreet too sounded confident of her team handling pressure situations better than they did in the 50-over World Cup final last year.
"We had not played in a World Cup final before last year except Mithali and Jhulan. Once you get the experience of a particular situation, you are able to think about what went wrong. Had we been able to handle our nerves for a little longer and handle the situation then well, it would have been good. But we have learnt from our mistakes and I hope that we won't repeat them if we get another chance," Harmanpreet said.
Powar said he had designed certain drills to see how youngsters in the team react to pressure situations and the coach was extremely satisfied with the outcome. "We tried to put them under pressure in these eight games. We changed a lot of things. We played with only one seamer and put the spinners under pressure. We wanted to replicate pressure situations which are important. We let them go through that and that's how we learn," said the former India offie. The Indian eves will take on New Zealand in their opening clash on November 9.
Not a pleasant scene at the start: Coach
IT wasn't an ideal dressing room scenario when Ramesh Powar took charge as coach of the Indian women's team after Tushar Arothe was forced to resign in July. However, Powar's time with Mumbai cricket as player and indoor academy coach helped him rebuild the Indian team.
"It was not a pleasant situation to walk in as coach, but I have faced these situations as a player for Mumbai and that helped. When you are building a team from scratch, it's important to communicate well. The Indian team come first was the message I conveyed and the players understood what I was talking about within a few days," said Powar.
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