India Team celebrating after taking a wicket. ©ICC

India have won their two warm-up games against West Indies and England prior to the World T20. Post their matches, coach Ramesh Powar told the ICC, “We are looking forward to it – someone getting a hundred and a five-wicket haul.”

Former India spinner Ramesh Powar, who took the job after Tushar Arothe’s sudden resignation in July, isn’t hesitant, rather is hopeful about team’s performances in the ICC Women’s World T20 2018. “They know that if we grow as individuals, the team grows, Indian women’s cricket grows, and people will start noticing the game in India and around the world. When you enter such tournaments, you have to break records, get noticed as an individual and team also, so I’m looking forward to that.”

India have a not-so-good record in the shortest format, as they have managed to reach the knockout stages only twice (2009 and 2010). But now the situation has changed a lot, as these “fearless” youngsters are improving with each and every matches. “They forgot their potential for some time. I was only there to make them realise you can do it,” expressed the coach. “I’ve instilled the approach that you have to be fearless in this format. They understood that very quickly and got the security that if the team management is backing them, they will go for it.”

India’s wonder kid Jemimah Rodrigues was going through rough patches before the Sri Lanka series. Talking about that, coach said, “If you’ve seen Jemimah (Rodrigues) … she was down with confidence. That’s where I stepped in and told her that it’s not about one inning, it’s how you plan your career.”

“We make sure [struggling players] get into a zone where they know they can do better next time,” he further added.

Rodrigues has played 14 T20Is at a strike rate of 137.14. Talking about that, she shared, “It’s really changed the mindset I’ve been brought up with. When I started cricket, each and every person was like you stay on the wicket, you’ll get runs. But it’s not just that. At international level you need to have a positive approach, you need to be ahead of the bowler, in other words, dominate. That’s how you’ll get better.”

Vice-captain Smriti Mandhana too shared her views. “After the setback in the Asia Cup, everyone went back and worked hard. You can see everyone is up to the mark where you need to be at the international standard.”

Though the Sri Lanka series didn’t go well for Mandhana, it was good for India, as they won both the ODI and T20I series. Talking about that she told, “The Sri Lanka series has been really good. For me personally, I didn’t get really good scores, but one match, Harman (Harmanpreet Kaur, the captain) and I didn’t score a single run and we got 170. That was brilliant. The bowlers too have improved massively in the last three months, they are clear with their plans. And fielding wise, we are 10% better than in the last World Cup.”

“Everyone can bowl in the Powerplay, everyone can bat in the Powerplay,” told Mandhana. “Everyone knows their role, whether they are going three down or one down or opening. So being flexible is easy for everyone.”

England coach Mark Robinson too praised India’s “old-fashioned” bowling style. “They bowled into the wicket and protected the short boundary. It shows here that if you bowl back of the length as a spinner, with leg side back, it’s old-fashioned women’s cricket, it’s hard to clear the boundary.”

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