WV Raman has been at the helm of women’s cricket in India since December 2018. He has done a commendable job with the team and nurtured and mentored a bunch of talented youngsters as well as experienced players. In an exclusive with CricketNext, the former India opener talks about the recently concluded limited overs series against South Africa and India’s preparedness for it.
India lost the ODI leg of the home series 1-4 and went down 1-2 in the T20I series. Raman said that it was not easy to perform immediately after a break of 15 months due to Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown.
“The point is that without wanting to sound monotonous, it’s not easy to come out and start doing things from where you left off and had a break of 15 months. It was evident that the girls were not anywhere close to a competitive level they were before the long break, which meant that they had to start from the scratch and accept the fact that things did not go well as we would have liked."
He added that there was a pattern through the series and an advantage to the team chasing. " What also happened was that the side chasing did better right through the white ball series. On the couple of occasions that India won, we chased and won."
Raman also spoke about the learnings from the series and the need to prepare harder.
“On the one hand, there is disappointment, and also on the other hand there was a lot of learnings and a lot of reality checks as to how important it is for them to be at their best in international cricket. It was not a case of going out there and doing it at will. There is a fair bit of work that needs to be done. Everybody is aware of it. They have the attitude and diligence to work hard and become better in whatever they do."
Raman also admitted that India were top-heavy in their batting and the lower-order needed a major boost.
“That’s a little bit obvious that we need to find some balance there. There are a few girls who are capable of doing that. This is where going forward I have to work out as to who exactly can fit in there. A lot of discussions need to happen. This is where a good duration camp would come in handy. We did this sort of camp in June 2019 when we started preparing for the Twenty20 World Cup. A lot of things got settled at the camp. At the end of the day, it also remains a fact that the scoring rate has improved by leaps and bounds in women’s cricket."
Raman stressed on the need of a longer camp before a major series like the one against South Africa.
“What we had in Lucknow cannot be dubbed as a camp. We had three to four days of nets. But this happened probably due to the fact that everything was arranged in the eleventh hour. A lot of protocols had to be followed. But going ahead, we would like to have about ten days of net sessions before going into a series."