Mamatha Maben bats for young Karnataka duo

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Left-arm pacer Monica Patel and leg-spinning all-rounder C Prathyusha found themselves left out of the India Women’s squad for the tour of England that was announced on Friday. The Karnataka duo received their maiden call-ups to the national side during the ODIs against South Africa, a series the team would end up losing 4-1.

Their state team Head Coach Mamatha Maben believes it is up to the youngsters to pick themselves up after the disappointment and work towards bettering themselves. According to her, the youngsters now have the opportunity to bridge the gap that they may face in terms of playing at the highest level.

Speaking on how the announcement could affect her proteges, Mamatha Maben said –

“It could have an impact. They’ve been there one series and now they find themselves out, definitely it’ll have an impact. But if they’re wise enough, they’ll probably realise that there is maybe a 20% room for improvement for them at that level.”

On their return to domestic cricket, the duo failed to impress, only picking up 1 wicket between them as Karnataka were knocked out by Jharkhand in the quarter-finals of the Women’s Senior One Day Trophy earlier in the year.

Mamatha Maben, however, feels the ordeal would serve as a learning experience for a couple of young cricketers who are still in their early 20s. Preferring to look at the bright side, here’s what she had to say –

“There are lot of positives from this and I’ll want them to look at those aspects and say ‘yeah we went there and we got to learn a lot and we got to work under the best of the trainers, the best of the coaches, the best of the physios’. Definitely their vision would have broadened and they’d have got an idea of what is required to sustain themselves there. That is what I’d like both of them to take and grow.”

Both Patel and Prathyusha would probably be boosted by the confidence that their coach is choosing to show in them at an uncertain stage in their career. Mamatha Maben believes the pair are ‘80% there’.

“I would say it was an opportunity that came their way and they took and there was a lot of learning experience for them there that I think they’ll feel there’s a 20% gap or lag, but they’re 80% there. And if they’re forthright with themselves, they will make good that 20% in the next year or so and they should be ready. Because they have performed. It’s not like they have not performed at all,” Mamatha Maben added.

“We’d like to have somebody for 4-5 years if you want to see real growth” – Mamatha Maben on the constant changing of India Women coaches

Mamatha Maben believes the CAC would have picked the right candidate to coach the Indian Women
Mamatha Maben believes the CAC would have picked the right candidate to coach the Indian Women’s team.

Ramesh Powar was announced as Indian Women’s Head Coach on Thursday, returning for his second term after a public spat with Mithali Raj ended with his contract not being renewed. The 42-year-old’s return to the position comes on the back of a successful Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign as the coach of Mumbai men’s team.

As far as Mamatha Maben is concerned, the CAC would, in all their wisdom, would have recommended the right candidate for the job.

“End of the day whoever the CAC would have picked, they’d have picked the best candidate, and that’s what India needs. In their wisdom, Ramesh Powar is the one who can deliver and he has been a reputed coach. Recently, he has led Mumbai to the Vijay Hazare Trophy. In the limited time he was with us, he has had an impact. It’s a different story that there were man-management issues. That apart, he has had a positive impact on the team,” Former Indian captain Mamatha Maben said.

Mamatha Maben did suggest, however, that a little stability would go a long way in helping the team achieve real growth. According to her, it is important for the team to work with the same coach for an extended period of time if they are to be able to perform at their best.

“Eventually, we’d like to have somebody for 4-5 years if you want to see real growth. Unfortunately, it’s not happened because there are some issues which are eventually coming out in the open. Most of them are man-management issues I feel. Eventually if you have somebody for 3-4 years, only then that stability will come,” Mamatha Maben added.

Ramesh Powar’s first assignment as the head coach will be the upcoming tour of England, starting with the team’s first Test in 7 years on June 16 in Bristol. They will also play the Englishwomen in 3 T20Is and 3 ODIs each, wrapping the tour up on July 15 in Chelmsford.




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