It's been a little over two years that WV Raman has been in charge of the India Women's cricket team. His coaching tenure, however, speaks for itself, especially in the shortest format of the game – where India thumped New Zealand (in 2018-19) 3-0 and West Indies (in 2019) 5-0 away from home. In between they did lost to England 3-0 at home (in 2019) but defeated the Proteas in 3-1 in six-match series (in 2019)
Considering the last seven weeks, India entered the finals of the tri-series involving England and Australia, and more importantly, the title clash of the T20 World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), coming out second to none other than the mighty Aussies on both occasions.
During this period, they even managed to beat the No 1 ranked Australia twice and overcame both the world No 2 England and No 3 (New Zealand). India climbing up the ranks and recent victories not a flash in the plan but a true reflection of their steady growth over the last couple of years.
Speaking about his coaching philosophy in an interview with Cricbuzz, Raman said: "Primarily, you need to leave the players alone so that they can flush out whatever little distractions they have or whatever thoughts are going through their minds, to try and get rid of them and get into a better mind-space."
"What used to happen earlier was that they would start over-thinking if they felt there was going to be a challenge. That can happen to the most experienced of players, so especially to a bunch of inexperienced cricketers who have their own anxieties, it has to be reinforced further. The other thing I did right through the six and a half weeks was never utter the two words - World Cup. I was only referring to that as 'the tournament'. Because the 'World Cup' bit can get to you, that's something I refrained from using," Raman explained.
The Indian side endured an 85-run defeat in the ICC T20 World Cup finals against Australia in front of a record crowd at the MCG. But the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side would take heart from the fact that they finished the group stages unbeaten and record their maiden appearance in the ICC T20 World Cup final.
The coach, too, took the loss in his stride and said that he looked at it as an opportunity to grow.
"I don't think the crowd or the stage or the occasion got to us. I don't want this to sound like an excuse, but what didn't help us was that leading up to the final, we were inactive for a week. It's not easy for a young side to switch on and switch off at will. It can be done by a very experienced side, maybe, just maybe. After almost a week, wherein half the week was spent looking at the rains and then you had a couple of practice sessions, you go into the final. It's not that easy for the mental edge to be there or be switched on from ball one, and that's something we will learn from experience. Let's face it, the average age of the team is 22; it can be daunting in many ways. Things didn't fall in place on the day it mattered, but that's what sport is all about. It can be cruel; we have to take it in our stride and move forward."
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