Ramesh Powar upbeat after India’s success in Sri Lanka
Ramesh Powar (Image courtesy: Facebook)

Indian woman’s team success in limited-overs series in Sri Lanka has drawn plenty of praise from coach Romesh Powar. India women beat Sri Lanka 2-1 in the three-match ODI series followed it up by emphatically sealing the five-game T20Is 4-0. India women ended the tour on a high with a comprehensive 51-run win in the fifth T20 match on Tuesday.

Impressed by their performance, Powar, a former offspinner who represented India, termed the wins a fruitful gain. “It was a good learning experience. The way we started the first game in ODIs and the way we finished the last T20, that will make a lot of difference to their thinking,” he said.

“They have started to think more about positive cricket rather than just competing, about dominance rather than just competing. That’s what we were planning to do.”

With 177 runs in three games, including a century, skipper Mithali Raj was the leading run-getter for India in ODIs, and overall second-highest behind Sri Lanka’s Chamari Atapattu’s tally of 205 runs.  Meanwhile, in the T2os, it was 18-year-old Jemimah Rodrigues, who scored 191 runs. While lauding the two batswomen, Powar added that he wasn’t too concerned by Smriti Mandhana’s unusual low scores. The Indian opener managed scores of 73* and 51 in the ODIs but struggled to get going in the T20Is. In five matches, Mandhana had 11 runs in four innings, including two ducks.

“I’ll always back Smriti, she is a proven player. She will head to her home, work on her game and come back strong again,” Powar said in an interview with Women’s Criczone. “I’m happy with what Mithali is doing at the top. Mithali has carried this team for a long period of time. I know she can open, I know she can play brisk innings.”

Powar is also impressed by how effective Arundhati Reddy has proven to be. The 21-year-old fast bowler four wickets including a best of 2/19 in the third game. According to Powar, despite being at an early stage in her career, Reddy has the credentials to fill the experienced shoes of Jhulan Goswami, who recently announced her retirement from T20 cricket.

“I think she (Reddy) is one bowler who can, in future, maybe replace Jhulan (Goswami). That’s what I’m looking at. You’ll not get a second Jhulan, but you can try to get someone close to her. I thought that way, our selector also thought that way, so we are backing her,” Powar said.