Ahead of the first ODI game against New Zealand, Pooja Vastrakar and Taniya Bhatia shared some of their takeaways from the T20 match and plans for their first 50 over games.
Bhatia started off by saying, “We’ve come after a long time. We are trying to find the right combinations but there are some positives to away from the last game.” Pooja, however, bowled well in the only T20I game. Although she couldn’t secure the game for the team, her bowling performance has indeed bloomed in recent months.
She said, “My England and Australia tour didn’t go that well with the new ball in hand. I’ve worked on myself, interacted to the senior players and even practised at home. I received my results in my last series against Australia.”
Speaking about some lessons she learnt from the previous game, Pooja Vastrakar added, “It’s every bowlers dream to bowl in countries like Australia, New Zealand and England. It surely was a good occasion for me. I plan at playing in-process and bowling in line. It helped in the T20 game and I wish to continue in the ODI game as well. I want to focus on my strength and want to bowl in line and length.”
Although Pooja Vastrakar didn’t get success in her series against Australia and England, she is adamant about remaining consistent throughout the series. Having been asked about Bhatia’s not so impressive performance with the bat in hand, she replied, “I take in a positive way, be it appreciation of criticism. When I went back, I focused more on power hitting for the team, at the domestic level too, I have evolved as an individual, as a player and a captain. I have confidence and I am looking forward to it whenever I get a chance.”
“I focused more on power hitting for the team” – Pooja Vastrakar
Talking about the conditions in New Zealand and its effect on Taniya Bhatia’s performance as a wicketkeeper, she added, “Being a wicketkeeper, I am aware it is more of lateral movements. The process remains the same, you just need to watch the ball.”
Talking about the practice sessions and especially in the area of fielding, Bhatia said that the girls are really working hard. The fielding coach has been coming in handy to the girls who are working to take catches in camp. Pooja Vastrakar spoke about her batting performance in the recent games and the importance of the lower order with a bat in hand.
She said, “The conditions that we play in especially with the World Cup ahead of us, the last ten overs have an important role to play. We are given a target by the batting coach, like in ten overs hitting 60+ runs. That helps. He even asked me to perform similarly in the Challengers games. As a power hitter, you must select right bowlers and it fortunate worked for me in the Challengers. I wish to use the same confidence in these games as well.”
The two also spoke about the impact the Challenger game had on their performance and how it is expected to improve their performance in the World. Having come back on the field after a long time, the Challengers worked as some warm-up game before heading to New Zealand for the World Championship is what they strongly believe.