Not easy to come back after 15 months: WV Raman reflects on India's 4-1 series defeat to South Africa (Photo: Cricket South Africa) Photograph:( Twitter )
After the conclusion of the fifth ODI between India Women and South Africa Women, the head coach of the Indian women's team WV Raman said that it wasn't easy to take the field for an ODI series after 15 months while adding the players lacked the mental stamina and physical fitness to put pressure on the visitors. However, the former India all-rounder added that he is sure the girls would realise what went wrong for them in the series and bounce back stronger.
India Women on Wednesday lost the fifth ODI against South Africa Women by five wickets at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow. The Mithali Raj-led outfit, with the crushing defeat, conceded the series 4-1, in what has been a tough outing for the team after a gap of almost a year.
While there were debates on selectorial issues ahead of the series as the Indian Women's team didn't pick the likes of Shikha Pandey, Shafali Verma, Taniya Bhatia among a few others, the women's team didn't live up to the expectations and were dominated and outplayed by the South Africa Women's team led by Sune Luus.
After the conclusion of the fifth ODI, the head coach of the Indian women's team WV Raman said that it wasn't easy to take the field for an ODI series after 15 months while adding the players lacked the mental stamina and physical fitness to put pressure on the visitors. However, the former India all-rounder added that he is sure the girls would realise what went wrong for them in the series and bounce back stronger.
When asked about the selection of the ODI squad, Raman said it would be fair if he talks to the players directly.
“As far as selectorial issues are concerned, I think it is only fair that I talk to them if required and I talk to them directly,” Raman told reporters in a virtual press conference after the end of fifth ODI in Lucknow.
“And what transpired in this series is very simple: the girls lacked the game time, and they're obviously short in terms of mental stamina and the cricketing fitness. By that I mean it's not easy to come back after 15 months & play a one-day series and retain the focus and intensity required to put the opposition under pressure.
“So, these things do happen, it happens to the best of players and best of teams. I am sure that the girls would realise what was not really happening and work on it. I have seen them do that in the past and I am sure they will do it in the future as well,” he added.
Batting first, India Women could manage just 188 runs on the board. Skipper Mithali Raj was the lone warrior with the willow as the veteran scored 79 runs off 104 as wickets tumbled at the other end.
For South Africa, Nadine de Klerk starred with the ball as she picked up three in her 10-over quota.
Chasing 189, South Africa Women lost openers Sune Luus and Laura Woolvaardt early before Lara Goodall was sent packing for 1. Reeling at 27/3, Mignon du Preez and Anne Bosch held the ground and scored 57 and 58 respectively to put the visitors on the charge. After their dismissal, Marizanne Kapp (36*) and Nadine de Klerk (19*) took them over the winning line.
For India, Rajeshwari Gayakwad was the standout bowler as she picked up 3 wickets in 10 overs while conceding just 13 runs.
India and South Africa will next lock horns in a three-match T20I series, starting from March 20 at the same venue.