Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022: India coach Ramesh Powar urges senior players to take more responsibility – Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Hamilton: India head coach Ramesh Powar said he was surprised with how his team batted in the first 20 overs in the match against New Zealand.

The Women In Blue scored only 50 runs in the first 20 overs against the White Ferns chasing a target of 261 and eventually lost the match by 62 runs.

“I think it was one of those days where things didn’t go our way and honestly I was also surprised with the way we batted for 20 overs. (But) if you look back (at the) last six games, which we have played against New Zealand, we were executing our plans well,” Powar told reporters ahead of the West Indies game.

File image of India coach Ramesh Powar. Image: Twitter/@BCCIWomen

Inda began their World Cup campaign with a victory over Pakistan but the New Zealand defeat has put them in a sticky situation. Powar urged the senior players in his side to stand up and take more responsibility.

“I want seniors to be putting their hands up, like Mithali (Raj), Smriti (Mandhana), Jhulan (Goswami), and win us the games single-handedly, because their participation and contributions in the win will brush off on the younger players,” said Powar.

“I think it is the pressure, I think of the World Cup but I don’t want to give any excuses. This is the right time to put your hand up and put up the performances, because we have been training for last six months.

“We have been to England, Australia, we have been to New Zealand early, so we have got every practice opportunity which was needed, so it is time as a group to stand up and deliver.”

On the question of why India played three left-handers at the top against New Zealand, Powar said: “Honestly, Shafali was not in greatest of form when you see the last New Zealand series. We wanted to give her a break, and bring in Yastika who was consistent in the performances. I don’t think three left-handers in a row makes a difference in every match but going forward yes, we are going to look at it tactically.

“It gives an advantage to opponents to set up the plan easily and left-right batter combination allows us to get to a batting rhythm.”

He added that the decision was a result of the squad’s limitations.

“I have been handed over a squad of 15, where I have limitations of three openers. I will use what I have, so that is the first thing. And Yastika opens for her state, and when you come into the World Cup, you use the squad available. Like, I can’t make Meghana play because she is not in the squad. So whatever is available, and what is given to me, I am just trying to make the best out of it. [About possible changes] I can’t tell you about that, you can see for yourself tomorrow.”

Powar also said the team has benefitted immensely from the presence of psychologist Mughda Bavare’s presence in the ongoing World Cup as she has helped the players become more confident in dealing with adverse situations on the field.

Skipper Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur have already spoken about Bavare has helped them turn it around during difficult phases.

Powar cited the example of how Pooja Vastrakar and Sneh Rana pulled the team out of trouble in their tournament lung-opener against Pakistan, which India won.

“If you remember how we used to react to collapses, I think the way Pooja (Vastrakar) and (Sneh) Rana addressed that collapse, it is a part of mindset (and) that’s what she works on. And moving forward, I hope it will help us getting right results and the mindset,” Powar said.

Powar said Bavare has been able to create a relaxed atmosphere in the dressing room.

“I think as a head coach, I wanted that help because it is a high-pressure tournament, and looking at our history, I wanted players to be at ease, when they play this kind of high pressure tournament and she has been with us from England,” Powar said.

“I think it’s been almost more than six months, and in person, I think, (this is the) first time she is travelling with us, and it is helping us a lot,” he added, when asked whose idea was it to bring in a psychologist.

Bavare is the first psychologist to travel with the Indian women’s team on a tour.

Bavare is a former national level swimmer and was engaged for the Indian men and women’s wrestling teams, boxers and track and field athletes ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

She has also been associated with the Mumbai Cricket Association besides working with ace archer Deepika Kumari in the past.

India face West Indies in their third match of the World Cup on 12 March at Hamilton.

With PTI inputs

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