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No compromise on fielding and fitness, says head coach Muzumdar

Last updated on 05 Dec 2023 | 03:38 PM
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No compromise on fielding and fitness, says head coach Muzumdar

The bilateral series between India and England women starts tomorrow, and it will be the first women’s bilateral series in India to have DRS

The home season of the Indian women’s season begins with a T20I bilateral series against England. With a new season, the Indian women also finally have a full-time head coach, a position that had been vacant after the exit of Ramesh Powar. Speaking to the media for the first time as the head coach of the Indian women’s team, Amol Muzumdar underlined the importance of fitness and fielding in the setup going forward. Notably, these two issues have been the Achilles heel of the Indian team before, resulting in close losses and lack of intensity at crunch moments in the game. 

“Fielding and fitness are of the highest priority, which I've already mentioned. There's no compromise on fielding and fitness. So that's one. The second part, I feel, you know, then there will be a lot of camps that will be happening post this series and getting into the next season as well. So there will be a lot of cricket that will be played either at NCA or somewhere or the other,” Muzumdar said on the eve of the first T20I between India and England, which will be played at the Wankhede in Mumbai. 

The head coach added that the fitness programs will be followed with utmost religiosity and that there will be at least three fitness tests throughout the season.

“They (fitness parameters) have already been set, and we have already had some tests which were done at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, and they are already in place and we follow it very rigorously and religiously, going forward. So there will be pre-series tests and post-series tests, there will be three tests in the season. So that's already been followed. And as I said it will be followed rigorously going forward.”

The Indian squad for the series against England boasts of a large number of youngsters who will either be playing first time for India, like Shreyanka Patil, or are new to international and need some hand-holding for their development, like Titas Sadhu. The Indian team has been found guilty of playing youngsters but not trusting them enough after a bad performance. In that regard, Muzumdar’s statement seemed reassuring. 

He said, “..the players, the fringe players, the new generation that is coming through also will get an equal opportunity. These are some prime things which I feel like they definitely will need. I will take it forward after this series.”

Also read - All-round strength in focus as India gets ready for England

Muzumdar also denied that India’s poor record against England in T20Is (only seven wins in 27 games) will stress the team management or the players. He remarked, “We have decided to leave the statistics and whatever has happened behind us. We are looking forward to a fresh start. The numbers are there to be seen, but these girls and the team are looking forward to the season ahead. We are not going to go back in history, of course it is important, but at the same time, it is also important to look forward to the season ahead.”

This bilateral series between India and England will also be the first women’s bilateral on Indian soil to have the Decision Review System (DRS) available. The English team uses it regularly in the Hundred and their home bilaterals. However, the Indian team has only used it during the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) and in ICC tournaments. Muzumdar reassured that India already have a “DRS committee” in place, which will take the DRS decisions on the field. 

“We have already had a discussion on this. We do have a DRS committee in place. It is an important aspect of the game. It could be a game-changer or a series-changer. Every small little aspect will be taken care of. We already have a committee in place to deal with that.”

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