It could cut both ways. The first is that this could be the start of regularly played test matches. The other aspect is whether all full members will be available to play Women’s Test cricket. This question must be answered. It won’t be easy in the sense that because the girls are used to playing the shorter formats and therefore adapting to Test Cricket will be a challenge in every way. But all the same, it would be an interesting experiment to try and see if the girls can be slowly relaxed in test cricket. I think this is happening in a certain way, although it may not be expressly stated. We saw England take on Australia in a test match last year. It is too early to say anything about the future of Women’s Test Cricket.
England and Australia play the single ash test. And New Zealand believes white ball cricket is the way forward for women’s cricket.
Making Women’s Test Cricket commercially viable will not be easy. If you’re going to have all three formats for women on tour, a lot of things come into effect. A lot will be assessed before we can even say with conviction that the women’s cricket test has come to stay.
What is the reason the BCCI is inclined to consider Women’s Cricket Test?
Maybe they think it’s a way of trying to make girls feel like try cricket, lasting cricket. Personally, I think it’s kind of a two-way pin here. One is experimentation to see what girls do in a duration game, and the second is to see if that can be a viable proposition. Maybe it can be restricted between a few countries.
So how do you prepare the team for the cricket test?
We would need to try and run a prep camp or even before that, a fitness and skills camp for a few weeks. This would give the girls a good opportunity to not only improve fitness and stamina but also to work on the skill part of test cricket handling. This allows the girls to expand what they are doing in the other two formats. It is also a matter of the change of mindset necessary for the duration of cricket. They must have a lot more patience in the cricket test. They should be ready to play after and win the batter’s wicket. Our hitters are capable of hitting for a long time, but they have to get used to batting for a long time in preschool and also extend their batting period in the net.
How would you sum up the white ball series against South Africa? India lost 1-4 in the ODI series and 1-2 in the Twenty20 series?
The point is, without wanting to sound monotonous, it’s not easy to go out and start doing things where you left off and took a 15 month hiatus. What also happened was that the hunter side did better throughout the white ball streak. In the two times that India has won, we have continued and won. But it was obvious the girls weren’t far from a competitive level they were before the long break, which meant they had to start from scratch and come to terms with the fact that things weren’t going well like us. would have liked. On the one hand there is a disappointment and on the other hand there has been a lot of learning and a lot of reality checking on the importance for them to be at their best in international cricket. It wasn’t about going there and doing it at will. There is quite a bit of work to be done. Everyone is aware of this. They have the attitude and diligence to work hard and become better at whatever they do.
Hitting point of view, the top four or five of each team scored points, but India had no one in lower order at all?
It is somewhat obvious that we have to find a balance in this regard. There are a few girls who can do that. This is where I have to determine in the future who exactly can fit in. There are many discussions to take place. This is where a good length camp would come in handy. We did this kind of camp in June 2019 when we started preparing for the Twenty20 World Cup. Many things have been settled at the camp. Ultimately, it also remains a fact that the scoring rate has improved by leaps and bounds in women’s cricket.
Do you think that a longer camp before the series against South Africa helped better preparation?
What we had in Lucknow cannot be called a camp. We had three to four days of mosquito nets. But it probably happened because everything was arranged at the eleventh hour. Many protocols had to be followed. But to move forward, we would like to have ten days of net sessions before we embark on a series.
Was it a big request to pick the team?
The selection of the team shouldn’t have been difficult. It should have been very simple. If you look at what the team has been up to over the past two years, they’ve won all of the one-day series. We played the girls regularly and it was becoming a very well established combination. It is the secret of any team. You have a core team of twenty players and keep running them depending on conditions and workload management. This is the way to go and become the team to beat. Australia is following the process and the South African team was doing the same.
How long can Jhulan Goswami continue? She’s been phenomenal for the past 18 years. Where is the second seamer?
We started a program to identify fast bowlers, but soon the pandemic struck. This program must be reinstated. It will take 12 to 18 months to prepare a player to reach the international level. Harleen Deol has been with the team for 18 months. So we have to work with a few talented cricketers who can give you what you want from them.
Poonam Yadav has gone without a box office throughout the series?
To be fair, this is a show she hasn’t found, but it can happen. Somehow it didn’t fit into the groove. But, you still give a leg spinner some allowance. Even in the best shape, they go for a few races and are having their bad days.
The batter relies heavily on Mithali Raj, Punam Raut, Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur.
It would be great to have a wicket beater or a wicket beater. There are options.
So the women’s team needs a deep tune-up, don’t they?
We have to start from scratch. A long camp will pave the way for this. They had a long break. Girls need to improve on all fronts. The girls themselves want these camps. They also need to improve their physical condition and hone their skills. To achieve certain goals, we need to organize camps periodically.
Shafali Verma said that she was not chosen for the ODI series because maybe there was something missing?
This kid said everything she said. Everyone asked a lot of questions. I personally would not like to participate in any discussion. I am not the only one to answer for all of this.
Punam Raut seems to show a little more urgency to find ways to score?
I had a conversation with her. I told her to be a lot more positive. The reason I told him is that the average score in women’s cricket has gone up a bit. We have to become a team that can reach 260 on a bad day. For this to happen, hitters must learn to handle 50 overs. The top six is well packed.
Do you think Harmanpreet can play a lot more?
She worked on her bowling alley. She had this shoulder injury which took two years to recover. Since 2019, she has played a lot in the nets. We will see its bowl a bit in the future.
Mithali’s 10,000 races in international cricket is something.
She was a colossus in terms of the stick. She also showed the way for young people. But what is important is that she continues her thresher form.