NEW DELHI: Indian women’s team captain ODI Mithali Raj and coach Ramesh Powar said on Saturday the team is currently focused on next year’s World Cup and the tour of Australia will serve as the perfect preparation for the mega event.
The Indian team leaves for Australia on Wednesday to play three ODIs, one Day-Night Test and three T20Is.
“We have to understand that we are playing three ODIs first and right now we are focusing on preparing for the World Cup,” Powar said at a pre-departure press conference, even as questions revolved around of the pink ball test against Australia.
“As for the single test match, we have to wear our one-day confidence in the test match. We don’t have to prepare separately as we support our players in all formats. We try to instill how we should address each format. “
The Australian tour will begin with the ODIs series, starting with the first match at the North Sydney Oval on September 19, followed by the second and third matches at the Junction Oval on September 22 and 24 respectively.
The 50+ Women’s World Cup is set to take place in New Zealand in March-April next year.
Skipper Mithali said: “We know the areas we need to improve and we have worked and addressed these issues during the pre-camp in Bangalore.
“Regardless of the results in Australia, we still have a few months for the World Cup. The Australian tour is good for us because we are playing against the best, we will also get a feel for the team mix ahead of the World Cup. The Australian tour is therefore a good game plan before the World Cup. “
During her second term as coach of the Women’s National Team, Powar said team management hope to strengthen the fast bowling department in order to reduce the burden on veteran Jhulan Goswami.
“We are looking for consistency in the fast bowling so that Jhulan can speak out otherwise she will be forced to go defensive and we don’t want that situation,” said Powar.
“We need to have support for Jhulan Goswami, we need to find her a partner so that she can play in partnership. We are focusing on Meghna Singh and we are also looking forward to Pooja Vastrakar.
“Once the coaches and team management have decided on the final 20-25 players, we stay on the same page when we enter a series,” he added.
Couture bowlers Meghna and Renuka Singh Thakur were called up for the first time in India, while left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad returned to the squads for the upcoming matches against Australia.
Mithali acknowledged that testing the pink ball was going to be a challenge for the players.
“It’s going to be big because most of the issues revolve around the pink ball rather than day cricket.
“The challenge would be more playing under the lights. And also playing with the pink ball because we are all used to cherry red. We have feedback from the men.”
The ODI and Test skipper, a seasoned campaigner with more than two decades of experience, said a tour of Australia continues to be one of the toughest in international cricket.
“We don’t go into a game with a determined frame of mind because it depends on the situation. We want our team to go there with a lot of confidence, without thinking about the gray areas.
“We know we play the best team in the world and we will have to bring our ‘A’ game. But we are also very lucky to have a camp of about 30 girls, with simulated matches, matches under the lights, we pretty much did everything we could with our preparation, ”Mithali said.
Perth will host the unique pink ball test scheduled for September 30, followed by T20Is at the North Sydney Oval on October 7, 9 and 11.
“Looking at the current situation we are happy to go to Australia and continue playing cricket. After England we had a month hiatus and we are supporting each other to do well, we have played enough in the Bangalore camp and are ready for any format, ”says Powar.
According to recent reports, the Indian team’s schedule in Australia could change due to the border restriction and COVID-19 lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne.
Asked about it, Powar said: “We are looking forward to a tour that is difficult and we are all excited to go and do our best to make it a good tour.”