Mithali Raj, the India women ODI and Test captain, is ready to let bygones be bygones and work together again in harmony with returning women’s coach, Ramesh Powar, who replaced WV Raman.
Ramesh Powar was first appointed as an interim coach in July 2018; his contract was then extended till the 2018 T20 World Cup in the West Indies, where Mithali Raj was omitted from the eleven in the semi-final loss.
It is there where the clash between the former India off-spinner and the senior Women batsman took place. She then said she felt “deflated, depressed, and let down” by Powar during the tournament. The coach countered it back revealing that Raj had “threatened to retire” mid-tournament if she wasn’t given the opener’s slot.
Powar was sacked from the coach’s position, and replaced by WV Raman, who is now sacked despite coaching the side to the T20 World Cup final last year where India lost to Australia.
“The past is gone by. You cannot go back. I am sure he (Ramesh Powar) will come up with plans and we together will steer the ship. We will work in tandem and build a very strong team for the future, especially with the World Cup scheduled next year,” Mithali Raj told The Hindu.
Powar has less than a year’s time to build the team for the 50-over Women’s World Cup slated early next year in New Zealand.
We should have continuity in playing Test matches: Mithali Raj
Mithali Raj’s and Ramesh Powar’s next assignment would be the tour of England in June/July which will see them play their first Test in 7 years. They last played a couple of Tests in 2014 – South Africa at home and England away – winning both.
After the England Test next month, the side will also take on Australia in its first-ever Day-Night Test. Mithali Raj, who has featured in 10 Tests in a 2-decade long career, demands more continuity in scheduling the women’s team in the longest format.
“For all the youngsters in the team, and even for someone like me who played a Test match seven years ago, there is no baggage to carry. We have not played the format for such a long time and hence can play with an open mind.
“It is good to see that this Test will be followed by a pink-ball Test in Australia later this year. My personal opinion is that we should have continuity in playing Test matches,” the 38-year-old veteran batsman stated