‘Look Inward To Challenge Best Sides’: Amol Muzumdar’s Mantra For Indian Women’s Cricket Team

Without fretting over opposition’s achievements and threats they pose, the need to focus inward was one clear message delivered to the Indian Women cricket team under him, said head coach Amol Muzumdar on Wednesday. Having beaten both their fancied opponents England and Australia in consecutive one-off Tests here, in-form India has now set sights on extracting maximum result from the limited-overs series against Alyssa Healy’s side, beginning Thursday. The three-match ODI series will be followed by a T20I series for as many games.

With the upcoming Women’s T20 World Cup scheduled for September-October 2024 in Bangladesh to be followed by the 50-over World Cup to be held in India, Muzumdar said focus has been on the ‘bigger picture’ given his side’s trait of failing at crucial moments.

“I will now shy away from saying that we have not had a look at the bigger picture. But at the same time, do not lose focus on the current happenings,” Muzumdar told the media ahead of India’s training session at the Wankhede Stadium.

“Yes, they (Australia) are a good team. They have been doing well in the past, but the message is very clear to the team — we would look inwards,” he said.

“We would look to improve on every given opportunity on every single day. If we can do that, I will be happy,” he said.

Muzumdar acknowledged Australia as a consistent team over a period of time but once again emphasised on the importance of looking inwards.

“They have been a consistent team for a long period of time and that is why they have won so many World Cups whether it is T20 or ODI,” he said.

“But we need to focus on our strengths and we need to focus inward and think about how we are going to do against one of the best sides in the world,” he added.

Muzumdar said he has had several on and off-field discussions with captain Harmanpreet Kaur on how to take this side forward, which also helped break the ice between the two.

“Honesty is one thing I have always stressed on. (We) had honest conversations and that must have broken the ice. You need to ask Harman about it,” Muzumdar said.

“I have been very honest in my cricketing discussions that we have had, the suggestions have been welcomed at the same time,” he said. “We have had a lot of discussions off the field regarding how we have to get it right and sometimes the decisions come correct… one-odd decision must have broken the ice,” said Muzumdar.

Muzumdar said Harmanpreet has been the glue that holds this team together. “She is basically the glue of the team and they all rally around her,” he said.

“They look up to her for inspiration and she has been a very inspirational figure in the dressing room for a number of years now and she carries that aura,” he added.

With India naming four rookies for the ODI and T20Is against Australia in Shreyanka Patil, Mannat Kashyap, Titas Sadhu and Saika Ishaque, Muzumdar said the squad has been picked keeping the World Cup in mind.

“Credit also goes to the selectors who have picked up the team. We had long, good discussions with the selectors and the BCCI officials that we need to look ahead at the World Cup,” he said.

With 11 matches across all formats against two opponents to be played in a span of 35 days, Muzumdar said his side are not complaining.

“The scheduling has been fantastic,” he said.

“The T20Is followed by the Test against England and we were into the red-ball cricket and we have carried that into the Australia series.” “Yes, it is a packed schedule, but all the players are really looking forward for every opportunity they get to be on the ground,” Muzumdar added.

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