Powar allows us to speak our mind: Veda Krishnamurthy

Women's CricZone Staff
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Powar allows us to speak our mind: Veda Krishnamurthy

Veda Krishnamurthy in action. ©ICC

Veda Krishnamurthy has said that the atmosphere in the Indian dressing room has become open after Ramesh Powar became the head coach in August this year. Powar came in after a turbulent phase. There was discontent within the team in the way Tushar Arothe, who had been given a two-year contract after the 2017 World Cup, was operating, and some of the seniors made their displeasure known to the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Soon after that Arothe resigned citing “personal reasons”, and Powar was first given responsibility of a camp at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.

The BCCI then invited applications for the vacant post, and eventually Mamatha Maben, Atul Bedade, Sanath Kumar, Sunil Joshi, Rajkumar Sharma and Powar were shortlisted for an interview. The committee felt that with very little time left for the World T20, which gets underway in the Caribbean from November 9, it was prudent to give Powar an extension till the end of the tournament.

Powar produced immediate result, with India winning the ODI series (2-1) and the T20I series (4-0) in Sri Lanka. He then coached India A, which was made up of the World Cup bound squad, to a 3-0 series win in T20Is against Australia A in Mumbai.

“The best part about Ramesh is that he is getting everyone to talk. Communication has improved,” Krishnamurthy was quoted as saying to ESPNcricinfo on Saturday (October 27). “He has asked us to speak more. If there’s anything running in our mind, he wants us to openly have a conversation about it, which wasn’t the case earlier.”

This is a big vindication from a senior player who made her debut way back in 2011 and has been a part of the setup under coaches like Anju Jain, Purnima Rau, Sudha Shah and Arothe. “Players are sitting and discussing what their role should be in the team and what they should actually do,” Krishnamurthy added. “That’s the one thing he has been stressing on ever since he joined us and he is serious about it.

“It’s a different atmosphere around him. We have been used to a similar kind of coaching for a long time, and for him to come in and change the atmosphere completely, it’s a big deal,” the middle-order batter continued. “I think everyone likes it. There’s conversation between the players as well as the coaching staff now. You don’t hold back anything and you are speaking your mind. That’s the biggest change in the dressing room.”

India’s run to the final in the 2017 World Cup in England was termed as a huge success, and they were expected to build on the momentum. They started 2018 with wins in both ODI and T20I series in South Africa, but lost to Australia in the ODI series at home. It was followed by finishing at the bottom of the table in the T20I tri-series involving Australia and England in Mumbai. This is when the first murmur about Arothe’s style of coaching were heard, and things hit the ceiling when India lost to Bangladesh in the T20 Asia Cup final in Malaysia.

Krishnamurthy felt that there was too much planning during that phase, but is happy that things are back on track now.

"We planned too many things for the Asia Cup. We should have just stuck to our basics instead. There were so many things the management was doing and the players were doing but at the end of the day it taught us all something - that we shouldn't overdo anything,” she revealed. “We knew there was a World T20 coming up and our focus should have turned towards that. But now whatever happened during that phase does not hurt us much as we've shifted our focus."