“Not A Very Big Thing…”: Smriti Mandhana’s Interesting Statement On Absence Of India Women’s Head Coach

Unperturbed by the absence of a head coach for over six months, Indian women’s team vice-captain Smriti Mandhana preferred to look at the silver lining, saying tips shared by a different set of coaching staff will be advantageous. Since the sacking of Ramesh Powar in December last year, the women’s cricket team has been without a head coach. The side was even forced to play the T20 World Cup in February without the head of the coaching staff.

“The BCCI has been hunting for a long-term coach and we will have one soon,” Mandhana said at the pre-match press conference ahead of India’s third ODI against Bangladesh.

“It’s not a very big thing in terms of players. We want to play the best brand of cricket we can. All the coaching staff that has come in has been really helpful.

“Sometimes it’s an advantage, new coaching staff comes with new tips and new positives. If I take it very positively then its a good thing,” the opener added.

In April, the BCCI decided to do away with the practice of appointing coaching staff on an ad-hoc basis and the Indian women’s cricket team support staff will henceforth get long-term contracts.

Domestic stalwart Amol Muzumdar is likely to become the Indian women’s cricket head coach.

“For us as a team, it is not important what is happening around us. How we play our brand of cricket is more important. We will have to wait for the series to finish and see what happens,” she said.

The swashbuckling batter has been struggling for runs in the ongoing tour of Bangladesh. Mandhana managed a total of 52 runs in the three-match T20I series while she made 11 and 36 in the first and second ODIs respectively.

“I have been batting well in the nets and in the matches I have been getting starts. It doesn’t happen very often that I am middling the ball and still not getting runs for the team but I have been working on it.

“The last match for me was pretty positive, the way I was able to get the team off to a decent start but threw my wicket away. It’s more about application.. my batting is going well but application hasn’t been always the way I applied,” Mandhana said.

The Indian team succumbed to its first-ever WODI loss to Bangladesh in the series opener and Mandhana said the hosts have evolved as a side in the past one year.

“We played them in the Asia Cup last year, they have grown since then. On these sort of wickets their bowling attack is good.

“They have played a very good brand of cricket. They will be coming hard at us so we won’t be taking anything lightly. The deciding factor (for us) has been batting…getting ourselves to a good score will be important. We have to be good in all 3 departments,” Mandhana said.

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