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England Women Tour Of India 2023: We Need To Play Fearless Cricket, No Compromise On Fitness And Fielding, Says Head Coach Amol Muzumdar

Newly appointed Indian women's cricket team's head coach Amol Muzumdar said women’s cricket in India is on the ‘cusp of something big’ with the inaugural Women’s Premier League garnering a lot of response from the fans

India Women's Cricket team's head coach Amol Muzumdar
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India women team's new head coach Amol Muzumdar wants his players to play 'fearless cricket' while also making it clear that there would be no compromise on fitness and fielding, ahead of the three-match T20I series against England beginning in Mumbai on Wednesday. (More Cricket News)

"We need to play a certain brand of cricket, which we have been known for so far. Fearless cricket is something which I have always advocated. We would be playing that brand of cricket," Muzumdar told reporters on Tuesday ahead of the team's training session at the Wankhede Stadium. 

"Shafali (Verma) and Jemimah (Rodrigues) are both very important cog in the wheel. I would like them to continue what they have been doing."

Muzumdar said that every step taken from hereon will be important as the team has embarked on its preparations for next year’s T20 World Cup (September-October 2024 in Bangladesh).

“We are moving towards the World Cup. Every series and match will have its own importance. The series against England and Australia will count a lot,” said Muzumdar who is starting his coaching stint with the women’s national team during the three-match T20I series against England.

“We had a chat about it with the team and they (players) are all raring to go. Every step that we take (hereon) is (about) moving towards the World Cup.

"England and Australia will be a superb series to start the preparations (for the World Cup). (Both) will be tough series (and) will give us an indication of where we are. Going forward, the tougher the opposition, the better it is,” he said.

After the contest against England, India face Australia in another home series.   

Muzumdar said there will not be any compromise on fielding and fitness standards, as parameters have been set and are being followed already. 

“Fielding and fitness are of highest priority. There is no compromise on fielding or fitness. There will be a lot of camps post this series — a lot of cricket will be played — at NCA or some other place,” he said. 

“That means more exposure. All the fringe and new players will also get an opportunity.”

India’s record of only seven wins in 27 matches against England in T20Is (home and away) does not bother the new coach who has urged his team to leave the past behind.

"As a team, we have decided to leave the statistics and whatever has happened behind us. We are looking forward to a fresh start,” said the domestic batting stalwart.

“The numbers are there to be seen, but these girls and the team are looking forward to the season ahead. We are not going to go back in history — of course it is important — but at the same time, it is also important to look forward to the season ahead. They are all raring to go.”

Muzumdar informed that Troy Cooley has been named the bowling coach for the series against England (three T20Is, one Test) and Australia (one Test, three T20Is and three ODIs).

He said women’s cricket in India is on the ‘cusp of something big’ with the inaugural Women’s Premier League garnering a lot of response from the fans.

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“It was a fantastic advertisement for women’s cricket last year. We all saw how many people turned up for the game. We all are on the cusp of getting it big in women’s cricket. The crowd turning up for the game is absolutely a boost for everyone,” he said.

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