Amol Muzumdar centered around emphasis on fitness and fielding prior to the women’s T20I series opener against England.
How much focus will the head coach give to fitness and fielding? “Fitness and fielding are top priority,” Muzumdar spoke of his plans. “There is no compromise on fielding and fitness. There will be lot of camps that will be happening post this series and getting into the next season. There will be a lot of cricket played either at the NCA or somewhere or the other.”
Muzumdar also spoke about planning for the players new to the cricket scene, calling fitness and fielding his top priorities. “More exposure, fitness and fielding will be my top priority. The fringe players – the new generation coming through – will get equal opportunities. These are the prime things that we will take forward after this series.”
The Indian team began preparations for their multi-format series against England and Australia in mid-November at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, focusing primarily on fitness aspects. Muzumdar stated that goals for fitness have already been set. Parameters are in place and follow-up is rigorous and religious, with three tests scheduled during the season.
Muzumdar emphasized the need for fearless cricket from the batters, especially Shafali Verma, in the T20Is. He pointed out that India’s openers have only had a fifty-run partnership twice this year in T20Is, and Shafali’s average of 20.45 in 11 outings indicate the need for improvement.
It’s the first time India are playing a T20I at the Wankhede and the opening clash against England will be the second women’s T20I at this venue. Muzumdar, although nostalgic about the venue, cautioned against complacency, emphasizing that every game has its challenges.
The upcoming series will also feature the Decision Review System (DRS), a first for a women’s bilateral series in India. Each team will have two reviews in the T20Is and three per innings in the one-off Test. This is a significant development as DRS was inconsistent in previous women’s cricket bilaterals. The series presents an opportunity for India to showcase their commitment to developing and enhancing the game.
As for England, they are familiar with the use of DRS, having utilized it in both domestic and international matches. Captain, Heather Knight has emphasized on the importance of the bowler and wicketkeeper in the successful use of the review system in games.
It’s clear that Muzumdar has a lot to look forward to and is leaving the statistics behind to focus on a fresh start with the Indian team. Good luck to him as he embarks on this new chapter of his career!