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Amol Muzumdar advocates for a World Test Championship in women’s cricket

Last updated on 26 Jun 2024 | 11:55 AM
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Amol Muzumdar advocates for a World Test Championship in women’s cricket

Amol Muzumdar also said that Smriti Mandhana’s bowling was always around the corner after her strenuous bowling training sessions

Six months after their last Test match, Harmanpreet Kaur’s India are all set to battle against South Africa in the one-off Test at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, starting June 28 (Friday). India completely wiped the South African threat off the floor in the three-match ODI series, where they won 3-0.

Ahead of the one-off Test, India’s head coach Amol Muzumdar spoke about the importance of ‘improvement’ and suggested that the team is definitely coming on the back of some great momentum after wins over Bangladesh and South Africa in consecutive series. 

“There’s scope for improvement in all the three departments. In every department, there is always scope for improvement. We do have the momentum, as you said, we won in Bangladesh and here in South Africa [different format], but at the same time, we are focusing on every game as it comes. Being different formats, the demands are different, the team is up for it. We can still improve in four departments [including fielding],” Muzumdar spoke ahead of the one-off Test. 

Prior to last year, India women weren’t actively playing red-ball cricket, considering the calendar in women’s cricket. However, the Board of Control in India (BCCI) has made conscious decisions to host red-ball fixtures for the Women in Blue and has also conducted the inter-zonal domestic tournament in a multi-day format. 

“We enjoy playing all three formats, Test cricket is always special. Against England and Australia, we played back-to-back Test in December. After that, it was great on BCCI’s part to have the inter-zonal, which happened in a multi-day format. They are also used to playing red-ball cricket and multi-day format. We are looking forward to it,” he added.  

“Last December, we played back-to-back Test matches, we are aware that red-ball cricket would be part of women’s cricket going forward. Hence, I feel the inter-zonals that happened in March-April were very critical so that the players also get the message. We are also focusing on the red-ball stuff, and I think the players are aware and ready to go. To adjust to that, it is a different story.”

While several players in the past have hinted that a World Test Championship (WTC) could be too soon for the women’s sport, Muzumdar had a different view, with the Indian head coach suggesting that the implementation of the tournament could have a positive impact on the format. 

“It is not a bad idea to have a World Test Championship but that is for the board [ICC] to decide. But if that happens, it is for the better of the game.”

Smriti Mandhana shocked one and all when she turned up with the ball and picked up the crucial wicket of Sune Luus in India’s narrow four-run win over South Africa. But Muzumdar, who has watched her from close quarters, suggested that the 27-year-old has put in a lot of hard yards into her bowling, and she could be one of the bowling options with the red ball for India in their Test against South Africa. 

“She [Smriti Mandhana] might be bowling in the red-ball format as well, we have trained in that fashion. We did put a conscious effort, it didn’t just happen in that game or that day, it does have a backlog to it. We did put efforts. She has been fantastic with the group, she has been an amazing support in the team, she has carried her off very well. I enjoyed her WPL exploits as a captain, she interacts with all the young players, the dressing room is very special.”

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