India women’s team batting coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar on Monday indicated that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is in the process of roping in a full-time bowling coach after the T20I series against Australia.
In the series, bowling has been a concern for India as it has conceded over 170 runs in all four games. In the first game, India failed to defend 172, while it conceded 187, 172 and 188 in the second, third and four games, respectively.
Addressing the media on the eve of the fifth T20I, Kanitkar said, “Definitely, it will be helpful (to have a bowling coach) and the BCCI is looking into it. I think we’ll have somebody good coming in hopefully, very soon…”
BCCI had appointed Kanitkar as the batting coach on December 6, just three days before the Australia series, while the former head coach Ramesh Powar was deputed to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru as a spin bowling coach. But since taking charge, Kanitkar has doubled up as the head coach.
Kanitkar’s role was just for the series. On Monday, the former India international remained refused to elaborate whether he will be given a longer rope. “Let’s finish the series first and then we will talk about the appointments and all those things. So right now, our job is cut out and that’s the game tomorrow,” Kanitkar said.
Though Kanitkar was appointed only a couple of weeks back, he had previously worked with the women’s team during its tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year. “I was with the team in Sri Lanka for two weeks, so that really helped because now I know the girls pretty well from that time, and more or less, it’s the same team, so that continuity helps.
“I know how competitive each one is, I know what works for each individual. That’s made it a little easier. We’ve been able to address a few things that we could in such a short time, and things are turning around,” Kanitkar said.
“I think we are on the right track. But we are in the middle of a series so there’s only so much you can do. You can take everything off the rails and then do it and come back, (but) for that there’s not enough time. So whatever time we are (together), we will utilise it. The players have a very good attitude…”
So far in the series, Shafali Verma has had good starts, while Richa Ghosh has emerged as a finisher. Having known them for a while, Kanitkar believes that they are growing in confidence. “I really give a lot of importance to learning from each and every one of our experiences. If you’ve scored a 50, it’s a good day, or something. No, it doesn’t work like that. Every day you learn something and you use that to get better the next day. It could be a zero, it could be 100 or it could be 20,” he said.
“So that’s what I believe in and I think they buy into that and we are pretty frank about sharing views so if somebody has played well, then you know she should continue as I will call a spade a spade. But I’ll make sure it’s positive. I’m not going to be a critic or criticise them. It’s going to be something I’m going to say which helps them so they understand me and they’re taking it well and hoping to get better…”
The coach also backed a struggling Jemimah Rodrigues and said that he will speak to India women’s U-19 team coach once Shafali and Richa joins the team to share his thoughts on what’s expected from the two in the longer run. Shafali and Richa will play the final T20I and then leave for Bengaluru on Wednesday.
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