Ramesh Powar | Sportzwiki

Ramesh Powar

Smriti Mandhana (Source: AP)
Smriti Mandhana (Source: AP)
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Smriti Mandhana Will Lead Indian Women At Some Point: Ramesh Powar

Smriti Mandhana was head and shoulders above all her Indian women batting colleagues during an otherwise disappointing series against Australian women which India lost 5-11 on a multiple-format point count.

Indian women’s team head coach Ramesh Powar is confident that the supremely stylish Smriti Mandhana, at some point in the near future, will captain the side as she is being looked upon as a potential leader.

Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)
Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)

Smriti Mandhana Will Lead At Some Point: Ramesh Powar

He, however, made it clear that he is setting no timeline for a change in leadership. The 25-year-old Smriti Mandhana had one of her best away series where she scored 86 in a WODI followed by a majestic 127, her first ton in Tests, and then a 52, albeit for a losing cause in the final women’s T20I.

“We are looking at her as a leader. At some point, she will lead,” Powar said after the end of the series.

Smriti Mandhana. Image-PTI
Smriti Mandhana. Image-PTI

One of the biggest reasons for zeroing in on Smriti Mandhana as a potential leader is a fact that she is an inspiration for the younger players in this team.

“She inspires a lot of younger players in the team. Obviously, we will rate her highly. The way she batted in Test was amazing, especially under lights. We knew she would come good,” Powar said, praising the T20 vice-captain.

What Ramesh Powar expected in all these years was consistency from Smriti Mandhana, and the Maharashtra batswoman is finally showing signs of good things that can be expected in the future.

“One season (of consistency), she will be a different player. She gets lots of game time playing in leagues across the world. And it becomes an advantage as in India you don’t get so much of game time.”

India has to “address some future roles for leadership”, perhaps after the conclusion of the Women 50-over World Cup in March-April. It’s possible Smriti Mandhana will become a top contender to take over the leadership.

As things stand, Mithali Raj captains in the longer Test formats while Harmanpreet Kaur remains T20I captain. Smriti Mandhana, deputy to Harmanpreet Kaur in T20Is, however, was the vice-captain throughout the multi-format series in Australia in Harmanpreet Kaur’s injury-enforced absence from the three-ODI leg and the standalone pink-ball Test.

Ramesh Powar: One Needs Characters To Win Women World Cup

Ramesh Powar is happy that in both England and Australia women series, the team management was able to give a lot of chances to younger players and also those in the fringes.

“You need characters to win World Cup. We stand at a juncture where Mithali and Jhulan will phase out at some point. We tested young bowlers like Meghana Singh and Renuka Thakur. We wanted to test our players,” said the former India off-spinner.

India Women
India Women. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Ramesh Powar also made it clear that there is no room for complacency, as leg-spinner Poonam Yadav found out after consistent non-performance.

“If you are not performing your role, you will be sidelined. We don’t allow someone take their place for granted. The players who had to sit out were given proper chances,” the coach said.

All-rounder Deepti Sharma’s lack of firepower in the middle-overs has been a cause for worry, and Ramesh Powar informed that batting coach Shiv Sunder Das is working with the Bengal player.

“Change can’t happen in 10 days. Batting coach SS Das is working with her,” he added.

India lost both WODI and WT20I series 1-2 and 0-2, respectively, while one T20 game was washed out. Harmanpreet Kaur, along with seven others, will compete in the Women’s Big Bash League.

Harmanpreet Kaur looks on during the match BCCI
Harmanpreet Kaur looks on during the match BCCI
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Ramesh Powar Confirms Harmanpreet Kaur Won’t Be Available For 1st ODI vs Australian Women

Ramesh Powar, Team India head coach confirmed that batswoman Harmanpreet Kaur will not be available for the first ODI as she received a blow on her thumb. India plays Australian women in 3 ODI’s, 3 T20I’s, and a one-off Test.

India women’s ODI skipper Mithali Raj on Monday said the two-week quarantine period in Australia was tough on her side, but there is nothing to complain about and the Girls in Blue cannot wait to get out on the park.
Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)
Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)

Ramesh Powar: Harmanpreet Kaur Got A Hit On The Thumb So She Is Unavailable For The 1st ODI vs Australia

Team India head coach Ramesh Powar has also confirmed that Harmanpreet Kaur will not be available for the first ODI as she received a blow on her thumb some days back. India and Australia will be locking horns in a multi-format series, comprising three ODIs, one-off day-night Test, and three T20Is. The first ODI will be played on September 21.

“Harmanpreet Kaur was deemed fit and hence she was selected for this tour, but unfortunately some days back she got a hit on the thumb so she is not available for the first ODI. The next ODI, we will take a call according to her pain and fitness management. Shikha Pandey is fit and fine, she is available for selection,” said Ramesh Powar during a virtual press conference.

“We expect the senior players to guide youngsters which they are doing,” said Ramesh Ramesh Powar while Mithali Raj said: “The two-week quarantine period was tough on our players because it was for two weeks, we did a week in England but this was stretched another week.”

Mithali Raj - Twitter
Mithali Raj – Twitter

“We definitely are looking at the composition before the World Cup and we will be giving our players a little more game time to fit in those roles. That is our objective in this series. I have not set any benchmarks for myself in this series, I have always felt that however I am playing, at the end of the day, my performance has to help the team to do well. If we end up winning, that is what I have always played for,” she added.

Depending on how the batting unit performs, skipper Mithali Raj will decide on whether to bat number three or four in the longer run. With Harmanpreet Kaur injured for the opener, she is likely to stick to the No. 4 position to lend more solidity to the batting line-up.

When asked whether she will bat at number three in the ODI series against Australia, Mithali said: “I think I am quite flexible with my batting order, whether it’s number three or four. It all depends on the composition of the team, if we have a good middle-order, then I put my role up which is number three. If there is inexperience in the middle-order then I push myself at number four. It all depends on the composition and now with Harmanpreet out for the first ODI, I have to think about my order.”

Ramesh Powar said that all other members of the consolidated Test and ODI squad are fit and are obviously available for selection for Tuesday’s fixture against Australian women. Harmanpreet Kaur was left out of the warm-up game on Saturday in Brisbane, though she is understood to have batted in the nets.

She had ended her Hundred stints in the UK prematurely owing to a quadriceps injury and then joined India’s other four women cricketers -all of whom were Hundred-returnees in the Bengaluru preparatory camp to serve a mandatory seven-day quarantine.

Though cleared as fit to play, her inclusion in India’s 22-player women squad for the seven-match multi-format series was something of a gamble since she made the cut without having been subjected to a workload assessment at a training given the quarantine restrictions.

Ramesh Powar: Shafali Verma Needs To Be Given Time

Ramesh Powar also said that opening batswomen Shafali Verma needs to be given time as she is just a youngster and there should not be the weight of the expectations on her shoulders.

Shafali Verma became the thrid youngest Indian women cricketer to play Test cricket after she was handed her debut | Photo: BCCI women
Shafali Verma became the third-youngest Indian women cricketer to play Test cricket after she was handed her debut | Photo: BCCI women

“As far as Shafali is concerned, I think the way she played the Test game, we were happy. As a 17-year-old, we have to give her a little breathing space. Me, Mithali, and SS Das have had conversations with her.

“She knows what is expected out of her, we do not push her who is very expressive in her batting. We do not want to curtail her game, we want to give her freedom. She has played The Hundred so she has some confidence from that, it is important for us to let her express, she is just 17, we cannot forget that,” said Ramesh Powar.

Team India departed for Australia on August 28 and upon landing, every member of the touring party underwent mandatory 14-day hard quarantine.

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Ramesh Powar Asserts Indian Women Are Looking Forward To Australian Tour

Ramesh Powar, India women head coach has emphatically stated World Cup preparation assumes top priority, and winning momentum from there will be the best possible preparation for the team’s maiden pink-ball Test in Australia. It’s not often that India head into a tour of Australia being better prepared than the hosts, whose last international assignment was against New Zealand in April.

In comparison, India first had a home series against South Africa in March followed by a two-month tour to the UK in the summer. The worsening Covid crisis in Australia has forced a major reshuffle of the venues for the Indian women’s team’s forthcoming tour Down Under.

Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)
Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)

Venue Of India Women’s One-Off Test Against Australia Women Shifted

The historic one-off pink-ball women’s Test between India and Australia, scheduled to begin from Sept 30, has been moved from the WACA in Perth to the Carrara Stadium (known commercially as the Metricon Stadium) in Gold Coast in Queensland.

According to reliable BCCI sources, the three-match ODI series between the two teams, which will kick off the tour from Sept 19, has now been moved from North Sydney Oval in Sydney to Mackay, a city in Queensland. The other two matches are supposed to be held on Sept 22 and 24.

India Women
India Women. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Gold Coast, and not North Sydney Oval as initially planned, will now also host the T20Is after staging India’s maiden, much-anticipated pink-ball Test on Oct 7, 9, and 11. An official announcement regarding the revised itinerary of the tour is expected soon.

Australia is currently badly affected by Covid-19. The number of cases is constantly going up, which means no matches can be organized in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth. All these cities are repeatedly going into lockdowns. This has forced Cricket Australia (CA) to move the ODI and T20I series out of Sydney to Mackay, and the pink ball Test from Perth to Gold Coast, which will also host the three T20Is now.

“However, this is also a tentative schedule, which CA has communicated to the BCCI. As per the altered schedule, the Indian team will fly tomorrow (Sunday) evening from Bangalore to Dubai in a chartered flight. From Dubai, the team will fly to Brisbane, where they will quarantine for two weeks before going to Mackay.”

“Everything is uncertain due to the concerning Covid situation in Australia. Let’s hope that the Covid situation doesn’t get worse in Australia, otherwise the tour itself may have to be called off even after the team reaches Australia,” reliable sources of BCCI said.

The Indian team underwent a camp in Bangalore in a bio-bubble. The five players who took part in ‘The Hundred’ in the UK will join the bubble on Sunday after a six-day quarantine. Ramesh Powar has said that despite the hype being built around the one-off pink-ball Test against Australia at the Gabba beginning September 30, the team’s main focus would be on the three-match ODI series keeping in mind the 2022 World Cup in March next year.

Ramesh Powar: India Women Prepared For Any Format And Happy To Tour Australia

Ramesh Powar also insisted while they’ve tried to prepare for the Test in the best possible way, taking markers and cues from their experience in England and situational awareness will be key to them competing well.

Ramesh Powar said that the 15-day conditioning camp at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru was an exercise in match simulations and team binding, adding that the focus was also on finding reserves capable of sharing pace bowler Jhulan Goswami’s burden.

“Looking at the current situation we are happy to go to Australia and keep playing cricket. After England, we had a one-month break and we back ourselves to do well, we have played enough in the Bangalore camp and are prepared for any format,” Ramesh Powar said.

 

Richa Ghosh , T20 World Cup Twitter
Richa Ghosh, T20 World Cup Twitter

“In the pre-departure presser on Saturday, coach Ramesh Powar, when asked about the possibility of the team’s schedule in Australia being altered due to border restrictions and Covid-19 lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne, said, “We are looking forward to a tour which is challenging and we all are excited to go there and put in our best effort to make it a good tour.”

Meghna Singh, Yastika Bhatia, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, and Richa Ghosh have been included in the Test and ODI setups of the Indian Women’s team for the tour of Australia in September-October. Radha Yadav, Arundhati Reddy, Priya Punia, and Indrani Roy, who were part of the Indian Test and ODI squads in England but didn’t get a game, have been left out.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid - K. MURALI KUMAR
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National Cricket Academy Has Revamped The Coaching Manual Under Rahul Dravid

National Cricket Academy has revamped the coaching manual, under Rahul Dravid’s stewardship, which now comprises “corporate classes” for aspiring coaches on tackling off-field issues, including selection pressures from various quarters.

Recently, a batch of distinguished former first-class cricketers attended the BCCI’s Level-2 coaching course at National Cricket Academy and also appeared for the theory and practical examination.

National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru is amongst the best cricket academies in India (Source: Mail Today)
National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru is amongst the best cricket academies in India (Source: Mail Today)

National Cricket Academy’s Coaching Module Tweaked To Make It More Appealing For Modern Coaches

While the coaching module at National Cricket Academy has been tweaked to make it more appealing for modern coaches, what came as a pleasant surprise was the introduction of a “corporate problem-solving class”, where the incumbents were asked to find methods of troubleshooting while dealing with multiple off-the-field stakeholders.

“The course has been devised by former Mumbai seamer Kshemal (Waingankar), who is an MBA and has a corporate background. I have never attended a class like this but it was very unique and helped me broaden my horizon,” a distinguished first-class cricketer, who attended the course at National Cricket Academy, said on the condition of anonymity.

“Well, it was about making us understand the difference between ‘bargaining’ and ‘negotiation’. We were told that we don’t need to solve a problem but it needs to be checked what are the trouble-shooting methods that we deploy (approach) in a critical situation,” he said.

 “The course instructor (Kshemal) picked two coaches – Person A and Person B. Person A was told that he is the ‘coach’ and Person B was told that he is the ‘selector’. He gave both of them a worksheet, he said while elaborating an example.

“The assignment was the person (B) who has been made the selector has to include three players in the team. He has pressure from various stakeholders it could be a state association, someone else… Now Person A, who is the coach, knows that he can only include two guys in the team and one in playing XI.”

Both Persons A and B were asked to display their “negotiation” skills where one needs to push his case and the other needs to stall it.

“The motive was to check how they deal with a situation like this. Who all does the coach involve? Is it his assistant coaches? Is it the captain? Or does he take help from a performance analyst with data? How does the selector convince the coach? Can he convince his fellow selectors or take help of administrators? It’s not about who gets his way but how one approaches the solution?” the player said.

BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)

All aspiring Level 2 coaches have to correct at least one player. While the Level-2 course is complete, all the aspirants now go back to their respective cities and, in the next three months, will have to at least work with one player and prepare a project report.

“This is also an interesting part. All of us will have to pick a player and make a complete video analysis of his bowling or batting depending upon our area of expertise. Then we prepare a project report on what specifics we are working on. After we have worked on corrective measures, we will again have to prepare a video of changes we have made. Then only our Level 2 course will be complete,” said another player.

BCCI had invited applications for batting, bowling (fast & spin), and fielding coaches at National Cricket Academy. The deadline to apply for these positions is September 10, as per the official website. The age limit of the candidates at the National Cricket Academy is 60 years.

The development comes as BCCI has decided not to renew the annual contracts of as many as 11 coaches at the National Cricket Academy at Bengaluru. Last year, the BCCI had decided not to renew their contracts which includes retired cricketers- Ramesh Powar, Sujith Somsundar, Subroto Banerjee, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, and SS Das.

After a brief period of inactivity due to COVID-19, BCCI is in fully functional mode again. It recently conducted a level 2 hybrid course spanning eight days for cricket coaches. It included former India cricketers Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Abhishek Nayar, Ashok Dinda, Devang Gandhi, Naman Ojha, and Parveez Rasool.

Rahul Dravid Attends Classes With All Batches

Rahul Dravid doesn’t take classes, but he attends classes with all batches. What has amazed a lot of these players is the fact National Cricket Academy head Rahul Dravid always makes it a point to sit with the batches and also attend the lectures, taken by the likes of Sujith Somasundar, Apurv Desai, Rajib Datta and Kshemal Waingankar.

“In fact when we were shown videos of players and asked to offer solutions, even Rahul bhai would join us and try to figure out the problem. He would tell us that he still feels like a student and the day he stops learning, that will be the end of it,” another first-class player, who has played against Dravid, said.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

“He told us that as coaches, we shouldn’t go on a fault-finding mission when a player comes to us. Rather than trying to nitpick and find faults, we should see what are the good qualities in that player and how we can make them better. The coaching manual in NCA is now more player-centric,” he said.

Some of the well-known past and present players who attended the course are Robin Bisht, Zakaria Zufri, Prabhanjan Mullick, Uday Kaul, Sagar Jogiyani, Sarabjeet Singh, Arindam Das, Saurashis Lahiri, Ranadeb Bose, KB Pawan, and Connor Williams.

Rahul Dravid has re-applied for the post of Head of Cricket at the National Cricket Academy and is the only person so far to file his nomination for the position.

Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)
Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)
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Mithali Raj And Jhulan Goswami Need Support If India Women Want To Do Well In 2022 WWC: Ramesh Powar

Ramesh Powar, India women’s cricket team coach feels veteran players Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami need support from the other players in the respective departments if India wants to do well in World Cup in 2022.

India women’s cricket team coach Ramesh Powar feels the side has come a “little ahead” compared to where they were in March during the South Africa series.

File Photo of Ramesh Powar(Twitter/ANI)
File Photo of Ramesh Powar(Twitter/ANI)

Ramesh Powar On Positives From The UK Tour:  Sneh Rana’s Comeback After 5 years And Doing Well Is Inspirational

Sophie Ecclestone picked three wickets before Danielle Wyatt smashed 89 off 56 balls to help England defeat India by eight wickets in the third and final T20I on Wednesday (local time). With this win, England secured a multi-format victory in the final match of the tour. Danielle Wyatt stitched a 112-run partnership with Natalie Sciver to chase down the total of 154 runs with ten balls to spare.

Sneh Rana took three wickets on the first day of her Test debut Getty Images
Sneh Rana took three wickets on the first day of her Test debut Getty Images

Ramesh Powar termed Sneh Rana’s comeback as inspirational and listed out the positives from the UK tour.

“Sneh Rana coming back after five years and putting on a show is inspirational. There are lot many positives, scoring 154 against the top side, we want to score high in T20Is and ODIs (score 250).”

“Fielding has improved, bowling has improved and if you compare to South Africa we have come little ahead and there is a lot of work to be done,” Powar said while replying to a query from ANI.

Sneh Rana scored an unbeaten 80 in the 2nd innings which saved India from the jaws 0f defeat in the one-off Test besides picking 4 wickets. She didn’t contribute much with the bat and ball in the limited-overs ODI and T20I series that followed but her return after 5 years was nothing short of an inspirational run.

Ramesh Powar: Mithali Raj And Jhulan Goswami Needs Support

However, the head coach Ramesh Powar was quick to add that veteran players Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami need support from the other players in the respective departments if India wants to do well in World Cup in 2022.

“We have to have match time, in the fast bowling department there is only Jhulan, there has to be some support to her, then middle overs batting after powerplay in ODIs, that’s where strike rotation and little bit conversion from dot balls to runs should be there after you get set,” said Ramesh Powar.

Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami © AFP
Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami © AFP

“In Test cricket, there are a lot of things to learn about, still we managed to draw that game. In T20Is we have to score 160 plus, to put some pressure. For World Cup in New Zealand we have to have good fast bowlers and the middle overs are where we are trying to get that conversion rate, Mithali is batting very well but she needs support, to get to 250,” he added.

Mithali Raj became the leading run-getter in women’s international cricket, going past Charlotte Edwards’ tally of 10,273 runs in WODIs achieving the feat against England. The two women are the only players to scale the 10,000-run mark in women’s international cricket. No other player has managed to breach the 6,000-run milestone in women’s ODIs apart from Mithali Raj who has aggregated 7304 runs in WODIs.

Jhulan Goswami has featured in 11 W Tests, 189 WODIs, and 68 WT20Is picking 41, 236, and 56 wickets in the 3 formats respectively. She is the highest wicket-taker in Women’s One Day International cricket. In February 2018, against South Africa, she became the first bowler to take 200 wickets in WODIs.

England won the T20I leg of the tour 2-1 and sealed a 10-6 series win as Danielle Wyatt and Natalie Sciver made the chase looked relatively easy. Earlier, a stunning knock from Smriti Mandhana helped India score 153 runs in the allotted 20 overs. India had got off to the worst start losing Shafali Verma and Harleen Deol in the powerplay.

Mithali Raj - Twitter
Mithali Raj - Twitter
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Mithali Raj Looking Forward To Working With Coach Ramesh Powar After 2018 T20 World Cup Spat

Mithali Raj is looking forward to working with Ramesh Powar on the upcoming England and Australia tours. India’s ODI and Test captain Mithali Raj has been with the team since 1999. The leadership role came to her in 2003 and since then she has led the team admirably guiding the youngsters and working with seniors.

During her 20-year long career, Mithali Raj has seen a lot of ups and downs in her glorious cricketing journey. The highs of being runners-up in the 2005 and 2017 World Cup and the lows of India’s 2018 exit in the ICC T20 World Cup. During the 2018 T20 World Cup semi-final match, the 36-year-old veteran was dropped from the team against England which India went onto lose.

Mithali Raj was controversially dropped from India squad | AP
Mithali Raj was controversially dropped from the India squad | AP

Mithali Raj Said The Past Is Gone And Hopes Newly-appointed Coach Ramesh Powar Will Come Up With Plans

The match is remembered for the Mithali Raj and Ramesh Powar spat which turned ugly when the two wrote individual letters to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials about what happened between the two. Few months went by, and Ramesh Powar lost his job to WV Raman.

Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)
Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)

Two years later the tide has turned and Ramesh Powar is again back as the head coach and Mithali Raj stated that she is looking forward to working with him ahead of India’s tour to England.

“The past is gone by. You cannot go back. I am sure he (Ramesh Powar) will come up with plans and we together will steer the ship,” Mithali told The Hindu. “We will work in tandem and build a very strong team for the future, especially with the World Cup scheduled next year.”

During WV Raman’s tenure, India managed to reach the finals of the T20 World Cup 2020. Ramesh Powar had represented India in 2 Tests and 31 ODIs. He had earlier served as the head coach of the Indian Women’s Team from July-November 2018. It was under his stint that the Indian eves qualified for the semi-final of the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup in 2018. Besides, they also won 14 T20I games in a row.

Mithali Raj: India Women Should Have Continuity In Playing Test Matches

India will start their all-format England tour on June 16 with a Test match, a format which they last featured in 2014 against the same opponents in Wormsely. Mithali loves the purest format and is excited to play after seven years.

Mithali Raj File Image (Twitter.com/@ICC)
Mithali Raj File Image (Twitter.com/@ICC)

“For all the youngsters in the team, and even for someone like me who played a Test match seven years ago, there is no baggage to carry. We have not played the format for such a long time and hence can play with an open mind,” said Mithali.

After their tour of England, India will travel Down Under to play a pink-ball Test against Australia. Mithali Raj stressed that the women’s team should get to play more Test matches going forward.

“It is good to see that this Test will be followed by a pink-ball Test in Australia later this year. My personal opinion is that we should have continuity in playing Test matches.”

The One-off Test against England kickstarts on June 16 in Bristol followed by a 3-match ODI series which starts from June 27. After the conclusion of the ODIs, the Indian eves will lock horns with the English hosts in a 3-match T20I rubber under the leadership of Harmanpreet Kaur.

India’s Senior Women squad for Test & ODI:

Mithali Raj (Captain), Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), Punam Raut, Priya Punia, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Sneh Rana, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Indrani Roy (wicket-keeper), Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav.

India’s Senior Women squad for T20I:

Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain) Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Richa Ghosh, Harleen Deol, Sneh Rana, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Indrani Roy (wicket-keeper), Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav, Simran Dil Bahadur.

WV Raman PC: Twitter
WV Raman PC: Twitter
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Sourav Ganguly Disappointed Over WV Raman’s Removal As Women Team’s Coach

Sourav Ganguly, BCCI President has expressed his disappointment and displeasure over the non-retention of WV Raman as the coach of the Indian women’s team. The row over WV Raman’s removal is refusing to die down in the echelons of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Information has surfaced now that authority as big as the BCCI president has raised the issue internally.

Cricbuzzhas reliably learned that Sourav Ganguly has formally expressed (through letters) reservation over the sacking of WV Raman, a former India batsman, who was not considered for the position by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) which picked Ramesh Powar instead.

Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sourav Ganguly Expressed Surprise On How WV Raman Hasn’t Been Retained Despite Guiding Women’s Team To Final Of T20 WC

Sourav Ganguly did not say anything on the selection of Ramesh Powar but he did, however, express surprise on how a coach, who had guided the team to the final of a global tournament, has not been retained.

It must be said that some senior members of the team have reportedly complained about WV Raman but the BCCI president, who himself was a member of the CAC at one time, has felt that the former India opener should have been persisted with. India had qualified for the final of the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia in 2020, but the team had lost a home series against South Africa badly in March.

WV Raman has no grudges on being replaced by Ramesh Powar as women's team head coach. | Photo Credit: IANS
WV Raman has no grudges on being replaced by Ramesh Powar as women’s team head coach. | Photo Credit: IANS

Those involved in women’s cricket say Sourav Ganguly should respect the decision of the CAC (comprising Madan Lal, RP Singh, and Sulakshana Naik) and its functional autonomy.

“He should know this himself that the CAC is an independent body,” said a BCCI insider, conversant with women’s cricket.

WV Raman’s axing as the head coach came as a surprise to many as the CAC decided to reappoint Ramesh Powar despite his controversial fall-out with Mithali Raj. Ramesh Powar had a successful spell with the Indian women team before the allegations of ‘bias’ by Mithali Raj saw him being axed. It was under his stint that the Indian eves qualified for the semi-final of the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup in 2018. Besides, they also won 14 T20I games in a row.

Sourav Ganguly Agrees To What Selectors Have Decided On Women Contracts

Meanwhile, there has also been some disgruntlement inside the BCCI over the central contracts allotted to the women cricketers. The BCCI recently announced contracts for 19 players with three (Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, and Poonam Yadav) in the A grade, while Mithali Raj, the senior-most player, remained in Grade B, alongside the likes of Shafali Verma. This has led to some discontent in the BCCI but Sourav Ganguly said he was comfortable with the choices.

Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur and Mithali Raj pose ahead of Women's T20 Challenge 2020 BCCI
Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur, and Mithali Raj pose ahead of Women’s T20 Challenge 2020 BCCI

“Selectors decide (contracts) and I am absolutely ok with what they have done,” the BCCI president told Cricbuzz.

He, however, has remained silent over the choice of the coach by the CAC. WV Raman had earlier replaced Ramesh Powar as the coach of the women’s team back in December 2018 after the latter experienced fallout with veteran player Mithali Raj.

WV Raman PC: Twitter
WV Raman PC: Twitter
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WV Raman Maintains Too Much Is Being Made Out Of His Exit As Indian Women’s Head Coach

WV Raman believes too much is being made out of his exit as the head coach of the Indian women’s cricket team after he was replaced by Ramesh Powar recently.

Former Indian women’s team head coach WV Raman believes too many issues are being created out of his sacking. He was recently replaced by former Indian spinner Ramesh Powar after the BCCI Cricket Advisory Committee recommended the name of the former spinner for the head coach post.

However, WV Raman has no grudges for not being given an extension and wants the women players to focus on the upcoming tour of England.

WV Raman has no grudges on being replaced by Ramesh Powar as women's team head coach. | Photo Credit: IANS
WV Raman has no grudges on being replaced by Ramesh Powar as women’s team head coach. | Photo Credit: IANS

WV Raman Enjoyed Tenure With The Women Team And Insists Too Much Being Made Out Of His Exit

WV Raman had taken over as head coach of the women’s team from Ramesh Powar himself in December 2018 after the latter’s controversial exit. Ramesh Powar had a fallout with ODI and Test skipper Mithali Raj which saw his stint with the side come to an end. Under WV Raman, the women’s team produced some good performances and reached the final of the T20 World Cup last year.

However, he was ironically replaced by Ramesh Powar. Nonetheless, WV Raman said he enjoyed his stint with the team while wishing them well for the future.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my tenure with the girls. I think there is too much being made out of this exit bit. When I was a player there used to be a group of people selecting the side, sometimes they picked you, and sometimes they didn’t. I don’t really see why this has been going on for too long,” WV Raman was quoted as saying by India Today.

Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur and Mithali Raj pose ahead of Women's T20 Challenge 2020 BCCI
Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur and Mithali Raj pose ahead of Women’s T20 Challenge 2020 BCCI

“Yes, momentarily people could have spoken about it (BCCI replacing him with Romesh Powar). That means people have recognized some good things that happened during my tenure but that should end there,” he added.

WV Raman’s axing as the head coach came as a surprise to many as the CAC decided to reappoint Ramesh Powar despite his controversial fall-out with Mithali Raj and some other players. Ramesh Powar was sacked in 2018 despite T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana requesting the board to not sack the former spinner.

WV Raman And Ramesh Powar Had Done Well As Women Team’s Coach

WV Raman had done reasonably well as the coach of the team, taking them to the final of T20 World Cup 2020 but still, he was replaced by Ramesh Powar, leaving many experts baffled.  Even Ramesh Powar had a successful spell with the Indian women team before the allegations of ‘bias’ by Mithali Raj saw him being axed.

The women’s ODI World Cup is re-scheduled in New Zealand in less than a year’s time in 2022 and Commonwealth Games in Birmingham will follow the event. The three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), comprising Madan Lal, Sulakshana Naik, and RP Singh, interviewed the applicants and unanimously agreed on Ramesh Powar’s candidature.

Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)
Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)

Ramesh Powar who represented India in 2 Tests and 31 ODIs had earlier served as the head coach of the Indian Women’s Team from July-November 2018. It was under his stint that the Indian eves qualified for the semi-final of the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup in 2018. Besides, they also won 14 T20I games in a row.

Former Indian coach WV Raman was not given an extension by the BCCI despite producing decent results with the women’s team since taking charge in December 2018. WV Raman had earlier replaced Ramesh Powar as the coach of the women’s team back in December 2018 after the latter experienced fallout with veteran player Mithali Raj.

Mithali Raj hit out at Ramesh Powar and captain Harmanpreet Kaur for dropping her from the 2018 T20 World Cup’s semi-final that India lost to England by eight wickets. She singled out Ramesh Powar, who she blamed for trying to destroy her career.

Deep Dasgupta
Deep Dasgupta. (Photo Source: Instagram)
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Ramesh Powar’s Appointment As Women Team’s Coach Surprised Deep Dasgupta

Ramesh Powar’s appointment as the head coach of the Indian women’s cricket team left many surprised. Deep Dasgupta has now questioned the basis of WV Raman’s exit as the coach.

Former Indian cricketer Ramesh Powar returned as the head coach of the Indian women’s cricket team for the second time after predecessor WV Raman was shown the door. The move by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) baffled people for multiple reasons.

WV Raman PC: Twitter
WV Raman PC: Twitter

Ramesh Powar’s Appointment As Women Team’s Head Coach Surprised Deep Dasgupta As WV Raman Led Women Team To Finals Of T20 World Cup 2020

WV Raman had done reasonably well as the coach of the team, taking them to the final of T20 World Cup 2020 but still, he was replaced by Ramesh Powar, leaving many experts including Deep Dasgupta baffled.  Even Ramesh Powar had a successful spell with the Indian women team before the allegations of ‘bias’ by Mithali Raj saw him being axed. The management’s decision to award him the job once again, hence, has raised many eyebrows.

Speaking on Sports Today, Deep Dasgupta highlighted the importance of continuity in the team as both Ramesh Powar and WV Raman produced promising yet short spells in charge.

“I Know WV from the last 20 years, I mean personally. He came in as our coach in 2001 and I have obviously a great rapport with Ramesh, obviously I have played a lot with him and against him. The only thing which strikes me as you mentioned, it hasn’t been too long with WV and whatever he has done. He has done well, my only concern is that there has to be some continuity,” said the former India wicket-keeper batsman.

Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)
Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)

“The last time Indian cricket team a major tournament, played the finals of the World Cup. Like I said both of them are extremely close to me and I like both of them but I just wish there is some continuity. There hasn’t been much cricket (for India Women due to Covid-19) so I don’t know on what basis WV Raman was not there.

You can ask the same question why Ramesh was initially sacked because he did fairly well as well. So, I just hope there is continuity now,” Deep Dasgupta told Sports Today.

The women’s ODI World Cup is re-scheduled in New Zealand in less than a year’s time in 2022 and Commonwealth Games in Birmingham will follow the event. The three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), comprising Madan Lal, Sulakshana Naik, and RP Singh, interviewed the applicants and unanimously agreed on Ramesh Powar’s candidature.

Ramesh Powar will replace WV Raman, who was appointed the head coach of the India women’s team in December 2018. During Raman’s tenure, India managed to reach the finals of the T20 World Cup 2020. The Harmanpreet Kaur-led side ended up losing the summit clash against Australia.

Deep Dasgupta Stresses On Continuity

Since the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup, not much women’s cricket has taken place as far as the Indian Women team is concerned. Deep Dasgupta, hence, feels there weren’t many performance-related reasons backing the change in coach.

“The last time Indian cricket team a major tournament, played the finals of the World Cup. Like I said both of them are extremely close to me and I like both of them but I just wish there is some continuity. There hasn’t been much cricket (for India Women due to Covid-19) so I don’t know on what basis WV Raman was not there. You can ask the same question why Ramesh was initially sacked because he did fairly well as well. So, I just hope there is continuity now,” he said.

Mithali Raj File Image (Twitter.com/@ICC)
Mithali Raj File Image (Twitter.com/@ICC)

With Mithali Raj still an integral part of the Indian ODI team, she and head coach Ramesh Powar would need to patch up their differences for the common good of the Indian team.

Ramesh Powar had represented India in 2 Tests and 31 ODIs. After his playing career, he took up cricket coaching and is an ECB Level 2 certified coach. He has also attended the BCCI-NCA Level 2 coaching course. Ramesh Powar had earlier served as the head coach of the Indian Women’s Team from July-November 2018. It was under his stint that the Indian eves qualified for the semi-final of the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup in 2018. Besides, they also won 14 T20I games in a row.

The BCCI on Friday announced the Indian women’s squad for the upcoming tour of England. It is comprised of a One-off Test match, 3 ODIs, and as many T20Is. Veteran Indian batswoman Mithali Raj will lead the side in the Test and ODIs with Harmanpreet Kaur as her deputy.

Teen batting sensation Shafali Verma and seasoned pacer Shikha Pandey have made it to all three squads after their South Africa home series snubs. Wicketkeeper-batter Indrani Roy has been rewarded with maiden Test and ODI call-up for India’s tour of England. Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad missed out due to an injury.

BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
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Indian Coaches And Cricketers Get Exposure Like None Else In The World, Says Rahul Dravid

BCCI’s National Cricket Academy (NCA) is going to recruit two coaches in the batting and bowling department with emphasis on hybrid tutoring and refined cricketing education on Wednesday. Former India captain Rahul Dravid, the director at NCA, is overseeing the recruitment process, and BCCI president, and his long-time teammate, Sourav Ganguly is assisting in backing him with the formalities.

To that extent, the BCCI is in the middle of hiring coaching staff at the NCA once again after it had last decided, in October 2020, not to renew the ongoing contracts of coaches who were engaged by the academy two years ago Despite the raging pandemic, the batting legend, in his role as the head of the National Cricket Academy (NCA), is striving hard, along with his staff, to provide continued online support to India’s cricketing ecosystem.
Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid
– K. MURALI KUMAR

BCCI Conducted Level-2 Coaching Courses For Former International And First-Class Cricketers

Just before the second wave of Covid, Rahul Dravid got the NCA cracking with a first-of-its-kind initiative – conducting two Fast Track Level-2 coaching courses for former international and First-Class cricketers, who have played more than 75 games. Amongst those taking part were former India players Wasim Jaffer, Ramesh Powar, and current national selector Debashish Mohanty among others.

Former India cricketers Lakshmipathy Balaji and Hrishikesh Kanitkar were part of the BCCI-NCA coaching session. - FILE PHOTO/C.V. SUBRAHMANYAM
Former India cricketers Lakshmipathy Balaji and Hrishikesh Kanitkar were part of the BCCI-NCA coaching session. – FILE PHOTO/C.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

Earlier in March, BCCI in India’s National Cricket Academy (NCA) conducted two Fast Track Level 2 Courses for international and first-class cricketers, who have played over 75 first-class games, in a first-of-its-kind initiative. Some of the attendees included the likes of Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Abhinav Mukund, Sarandeep Singh, Debashish Mohanty, Vinay Kumar, Lakshmipathy Balaji, and Robin Uthappa.

The courses were conducted in a Hybrid Model keeping in mind the ongoing pandemic situation. Phase 1 of the course was delivered online over four days, followed by Phase 2, which was conducted at the NCA across four more days. A wide array of topics was covered, including Skill Acquisition, Applied Biomechanics in Pace Bowling, Spin Bowling, Batting, WicketKeeping, Building Social and Personal Competence, and Video Analysis.

Rahul Dravid on exposure:

In an exclusive interview, Rahul Dravid shed light on what purpose these courses according to BCCI guidelines serve to India’s cricket coaching community.

“In terms of technical knowledge and understanding of the players, I feel that our coaches are some of the best in the world. When you couple that with the fact that the BCCI conducts over 2000 games a year at all levels, our coaches and cricketers get exposure like no one else in the world. It would be nice to see them get the recognition they deserve,” Rahul Dravid said on Indian coaches

“A lot of these coaches, because of the fact that they’re experienced and some of them have played international and First-Class cricket, are already in important coaching positions.  Let’s be honest, international players and players who’ve played a lot of cricket at the First-Class level have quite a few options,” Rahul Draavid explained regarding Level-2 course.

National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru is amongst the best cricket academies in India (Source: SportsWiki)
National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru is amongst the best cricket academies in India (Source: SportsWiki)

“This course was the first of the many courses that we’re now reviving. For some of the new states that have just started playing the Ranji Trophy, the BCCI has already conducted a few Level-1 courses. Even during the lockdown, one of the major things we were able to do was conduct the Level-1 courses in a hybrid (online and onsite) format.

During the lockdown, we completed the online version of the Level-1 course for 10-11 state associations. In terms of Level-2, because we haven’t done the course for seven years, we’ve a backlog of close to 150-160 coaches,” on Level-1 and Level-2 course.

“In a country like India, the more the number of qualified and good coaches we have, the better it is. If you consider the fact that there’s 38 state teams and 7 teams per state, that means that there is a requirement of 266 coaches.

Let’s assume each team has a head coach and assistant coach then that means that 532 coaches will be in the system. The responsibility of hiring and employing the coaches with the respective associations is the responsibility of the state units,” Rahul Dravid said on number of coaches.

When the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) – led by former CAG Vinod Rai – was running the BCCI, a detailed presentation was made to the Board on how the NCA’s coaching unit should function going forward. The COA decided to “junk” the presentation for reasons undisclosed and the BCCI, after members came to power back in 2019, have continued to ignore the same once again.

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