WV Raman, the head coach of Indian women’s team doesn’t believe that countries who are having franchise league professionals don’t get any extra advantage in T20 World Cup. As he thinks playing for the country is a different thing. From India, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy and Deepti Sharma have played in the overseas leagues so far.
“Playing franchise cricket is one thing and playing an international tournament, where your country features, is a different game altogether. They may be familiar with the conditions but this is a different platform. The pressure element is different,” WV Raman said at the pre-departure press conference prior to the tri-series including England and Australia.
The tri-series will begin on January 31 before the T20 World Cup in February. However, the coach said India have a balanced side with good depth as well.
He shared, “all these things put together will negate whatever advantage they may seemingly have. That (depth) will definitely help us psychologically. At the start of last season, we did not do well enough in the few games. After that, the unit settled down. Each one of the players had a good hit, they are all in good nick and they have also worked on their skills, which means you do have a fair bit of sense of security and confidence going into this tournament.”
“We are covering all other bases. This is a young team which is perhaps one of the best. They are enthusiastic, positive and focused. That’s very important,” said Raman. “I won’t use the word obsess but we are keen to do well and in terms of T20 format, so we are looking to put our best foot forward.”
Two teenagers Shafali Verma (15) and Richa Ghosh (16) have added in the team. Meanwhile, Richa earned her maiden-call up. However, WV Raman shared that age is not important to do well but the skill is.
“In today’s era, age on either side is just a number. It’s about the talent that there is what they can do on what they can bring to the table as far as the requirements of team is concerned. So I don’t think we should necessarily focus on the age part of it,” he told.
“If we’re talking about somebody like a Shafali, who is 15-year old, we all have heard of the adage saying, young cubs know no fear. So this is a brand of cricket that we look to play and it is a format where people need to be positive,” he expressed.
“So along those lines, we need a lot more people with fresh minds and with a lot of positivity with no fear at all. I think that’ll be a big advantage and they complement the more experienced predators like Smriti, Harman and Veda. So, this is a good blend I think,” he added.
According to the coach, WV Raman, the tri-series will help the team before the T20 World Cup. However, he wanted Mandhana to bat for 30 overs in the 50-overs format and 12 overs in the shortest format. He further added that “carry on batting as you can and the runs will come” – is what matters.