As the Australia women’s A team cricketers geared up for their practice session at the Bandra Kurla Complex on Tuesday morning — ahead of their second T20 against India A — they had a special visitor.
Former Australia captain Lisa Sthalekar — who is in India as a commentator for the India-Windies series — conducted a special coaching session with the girls to motivate them ahead of the series deciding T20, to be played on Wednesday.
Sthalekar, who was present for the team’s first T20 on Monday, was approached by one of the senior players of the team to come and help them with the training, and she happily obliged. “I spoke to the coach Leah (Poulton) and she told me to come. I went there, they gave me the gear and I put it on and was like — ‘Okay, I haven’t put on this gear for a couple of years’. It was nice to work with the team,” Sthalekar told Sportstar .
Having toured India as a cricketer and later as a commentator, Sthalekar has a fair idea about the Indian conditions and she shared a few tips with the young cricketers, many of whom were touring India for the first time. “There were a lot of batters who came in and asked what I thought of them in the last match. Bowlers asked where should they bowl to (Smriti) Mandhana, Harmanpreet (Kaur),” Sthalekar, who has featured in eight Tests, 125 ODIs and 54 T20s for Australia, said.
When asked about the tips she shared, the 39-year-old decided to keep it as a suspense. " You will see that in the next two games,” she said.
While she left for Visakhapatnam later on Tuesday to resume commentary duty for the second ODI between India and Windies, Sthalekar plans to be with the team for its last T20 fixture on Friday. “On the 26th, I am going to help the girls warm up, watch their game and will be part of their coaching staff. Leah appreciated the effort, and told me that, ‘Having you around, the girls would have got a buzz.’ And she said that it is important that we allow past players to come back and help the team,” she said.
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