India is all set to lock horns with the hosts Australia in a multi-format series that has been re-scheduled by getting delayed by two days which now rests to be into action from August 31. Right on this eve, Indian Head Coach Ramesh Powar and the skipper Mithali Raj took to the press conference to discuss the forthcoming gala event that holds top-notch performances from the likes of powerful classes when both the teams face each other in a heated series just ahead of the World Cup.
“We had a camp of thirty players where we had 10-15 fast bowlers as well. We tried to inculcate positive batting in middle overs and conversion of dot balls and keep the momentum going,” said Powar on the areas that the team has been working on before the series and he also made it clear that it always takes time to implement anything on a larger scale and that the team has coped with it properly.
India will be playing their first-ever Pink-Ball test match against Australia after the recently concluded series against England which included the one-off test where the team drew the match. On this, Mithali said it firmly, “We will definitely carry forward the confidence of playing the longer format after so many years that we got to play in England and the test match in Australia will be slightly different because we are playing with the pink ball and under lights; that’s a different experience for all of us because we have never played under the lights before.”
She firmly believes the way the side is improving and working on all the odds and the ongoing series of the Men’s side against England is also keeping them creased deep into the game and learn how the momentum changes all of a sudden and alters the result of the match. “We will not be going with a set mindset. We will be applying according to the situations,” is something that Raj confirms.
Keeping in mind and having an upper hand at playing one extra series than Australia in the last year, Raj said, “We are playing against the best side in the world and we need to get our A-game, every match that we play.” Despite the ongoing pandemic around the world, she also admits that it’s a privilege to have been allocated with a camp of thirty players. She assures that the team is done with what they could have been able to and now they all await for the series to kick off.
Talking about the pink-ball warm-up game, Powar noted, “Looking at the current situation, we are happy to go to Australia and keep playing cricket as after England (series) we had just one month off and it’s a great thing that we are good to go there and play cricket so that’s what we are looking forward too. I think we had enough days in Bangalore where we prepared ourselves and back our strength.”
Powar cleared it all by thumping his stand that the team is mainly focusing on the ODI-series against Australia as the World Cup is a doorstep away and hence he also eases the hype of the Pink-Ball test. “For the pink-ball test we don’t need to prepare very separately,” he added. He further assured the faith in all the 35 players who are part of the squad set for the series.
Since most of the questions revolved around the pink-ball test match than the One Day cricket, Raj said, “It’s going to be big because the men are playing the test (against England) and the atmosphere in the cricketing circle is more about the longer format so when the girls are playing the test match everybody is keen to follow it.” As the Indian team is totally fresh for the pink-ball test, so the format is a bit challenging as they are not accustomed to playing under lights.
Powar thinks of having support to Jhulan Goswami with the ball which he himself made clear right after the England tour which is why the inclusion of MeghnaSingh into the squad is a critical one as she is believed to be the best person to partner with Goswami in order to put pressure with the ball. The coach also looks forward to the all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar and her skillset in Australia. “As far as the fast-bowling unit is concerned, we are looking for consistency,” she added.
Launching on the takeaways from the England tour and the upcoming series against Australia just before the World Cup that awaits next year, Mithali Raj assured that the team will come good as a unit and as there are a few months still left so the side will surely get to learn a lot from both the tours.
“We will be happy wherever we will be playing,” Powar noted while talking about the fixtures of the tour and further added, “We are looking forward to a tour which is challenging. All of us, including the support staff are really very excited to go there and put their best effort; that’s what our goal is and it will be a good Australia series.”