Strengthening India Women’s Cricket: Amol Muzumdar’s Vision for WPL 2024

Amol Muzumdar, the head coach of India Women’s cricket team, envisions leveraging the ongoing Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2024 to bolster the team’s talent pool.

In a recent commentary during the Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Gujarat Giants match, Muzumdar expressed his ambition to form a reserve squad of 20-25 players from the WPL, emphasizing the need to strengthen the fast-bowling department.

Strengthening India Women’s Cricket: Amol Muzumdar’s Vision for WPL 2024

“To build a bench strength for the Indian team, I would like to see another pool of 20–25 players,” he stated in reference to Tuesday night’s match between the Gujarat Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore. “I want to build a pool of fast bowlers, and four of them played in the last series (from the WPL).” Increasing the strength of the bowling assault makes a big impact.”

Before the home series against Australia and England last year, Muzumdar assumed the role of head coach in late 2016. India defeated Australia 3-0 in the One-Day Internationals and won all of the one-off Test matches against them, although they lost every white-ball series. The T20I series ended with a score of 2-1 between England and Australia.

In the white-ball matches, Renuka Singh, Titas Sadhu, Pooja Vastrakar, and Amanjot Kaur were the four quicks that participated. Meghna Singh was also included in the Indian squad for the Tests, however she was not able to participate in any of the matches.

India’s speed attack could be perceived as lighter following Jhulan Goswami’s retirement in 2022. The seasoned Shikha Pandey, who had a brief return in T20Is in early 2023 but hasn’t participated in any of their following games, also doesn’t seem to have been missed.

In addition to praising Sajeevan Sajana, who gave Mumbai Indians the opening game of this WPL with a first-ball six on the final ball of the match when they needed five to win, Muzumdar also spoke highly of players like Saika Ishaque and Shreyanka Patil, promising talents who can advance through the WPL and push for a permanent spot in the India side. “Sajana’s six gives you an idea of the depth in Indian cricket,” he stated.

Satheesh Shubha, a batter from Karnataka, is an unknown figure who earned a national cap without the necessity for the WPL. She played her first Test match against England, when she scored a cool half-century, but she was injured and was unable to play against Australia. Before the domestic season, Muzumdar claimed to have seen her during a warm-up game and made the decision to play her for the national team right away.

“I organised a match at the NCA here at the Chinnaswamy Stadium,” he stated. “She (Shubha) performed really well in the four-day warm-up match; she scored 49 and 50. She bats effectively at No. 3 and is a left-hander. I had made the decision to bat her at No. 3 after observing her in the nets. At the time, not many players had seen her.

“I’ll thank Harman (India captain Harmanpreet Kaur) because she agreed for the call immediately.”

Muzumdar continued, mentioning that India had a camp prior to their last two assignments, emphasizing fielding and conditioning in particular. “We made it plain in the first meeting prior to the England and Australia series that fielding and fitness are not negotiable. Each participant is striving for it; it’s not all talk. It’s clearly thought out and planned.”

Muzumdar was happy to note that some Indian batters, including S Meghana (RCB), Richa Ghosh (RCB), and Shafali Verma (Delhi Caps), were scoring runs after five games in the WPL’s second season.

“There is an upscale movement in India’s batters,” he stated. “The confidence from those two series against England and Australia is on display because of how they performed there.”

Prior to the WPL’s commencement, Harmanpreet had stated that uncapped players might utilize the competition as a springboard to join the Indian team for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in September and October.

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