Players lacked game time, says Raman after series defeat to SA  

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LUCKNOW, March 17 (PTI): India women’s team head coach WV Raman on Wednesday said his players lacked game time and were short on ‘mental stamina’ and ‘cricketing fitness’ as the hosts were blanked 1-4 by South Africa in a five-match ODI series here.

“In terms of what transpired in this series, it is very simple: the girls lacked the game time, and they’re obviously short in terms of the mental stamina and the cricketing fitness,” Raman said during a virtual post-match press conference.

“I mean it’s not easy to come back after 15 months and play a one-day series and retain the focus and intensity that is required to put the opposition under pressure. So, these things do happen, it happens to the best of players and best of teams.”

The former India opening batsman though was confident that his players would bounce back strongly.

“I am sure that the girls would have realised what was not happening and they will work on it. I have seen them do it in the past and I have no doubts at all, they will do it in the future.”

The selectors were particularly criticised for dropping veteran Shikha Pandey and young hard-hitting batter Shefali Verma from the squad.

“As far as selection issues are concerned, I think it is only fair that I talk to them if required and I talk to them directly,” quipped Raman.

Raman also said that the bowlers were not consistent, but refused to blame them.

“As far as the positives are concerned, the batting unit is getting into its probe, despite the fact that not all of them got big scores, we managed scores in excess of 250 or around 250. I think what probably did not go in our favour was the fact that the bowlers could not be consistent, as I said earlier, but there is no blaming them at all, because it was expected.”

“Yes, this is something that the girls will definitely work on (and) quite a lot of activities going forward we will also help them to achieve that. I am sure it won’t be too long before all of them get into their rhythm and perform as well as they can,” the coach said.



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