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Mithali Raj, Ramesh Powar strike similar note; past is buried, looking ahead at larger picture

Ramesh Powar

Mumbai, June 1: India women's Test and ODI skipper Mithali Raj on Tuesday (June 1) said the time has come for people to move on from her spat with head coach Ramesh Powar during the T20 World Cup 2018.

Powar returned as the head coach of the women's cricket team last month after being sacked following India's semifinal defeat in the 2018 T20 World Cup. Mithali had been dropped from the semifinal and relations between the two spiralled as both accused each other of unprofessional conduct.

"I think can we move on from that? It has been three years, we are in 2021 and we should be looking forward now. There are many more series coming and, if you are repetitively asking the same question then we need to get you back from the past," said Mithali during a virtual press conference ahead of the team's departure to England on June 3.

When Powar was asked the same question, he replied: "We interact well, otherwise, I would not have come back in women's cricket. Everyone grows up after three years, larger goals are in the picture. This is a great opportunity for me, Mithali and the whole group to take women's cricket to another level where BCCI is supporting us. We are professionals. You all know me, I have been at NCA, I have been with Rahul Dravid, and his effect will play in this series."

"I am sure the girls have been interacting whenever they cross paths. It is good to have the men's team here because they have played a lot in the UK and you can ask them questions, they can help out because most of the girls are playing a Test match after a long time," said Mithali.

For the first time in her career, Shafali Verma has been called up into the ODI and Test squad against England. "I think every player on this squad makes a difference. Shafali is a special talent, we are trying to get every combination which will help us to get to a total which is a standard, in fact we want to pass that, we want to supersede that. We are not aiming for any A or B target, we are trying to assess the targets, somewhere it might be 270, in India, it can be 200 only, we will explore combinations which will help us win consistently," said Powar.

Further asked how he would like to coach youngsters like Shafali, Powar said: "It depends on the way she handles the practice sessions. We have done something great with Prithvi Shaw when he played the Vijay Hazare Trophy. We have to wait and watch."

The women's team will take on England in a one-off Test, three ODIs, and three T20Is. The two teams will first square off in a four-day Test match, beginning June 16. Then both teams will lock horns in three ODIs beginning June 27 with the matches slated to be played at Bristol, Taunton, and Worcester.

They will then square off in three T20Is, beginning July 9 and the three matches will be played at Northampton, Hove, and Chelmsford.

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Story first published: Tuesday, June 1, 2021, 20:04 [IST]
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