R Sridhar lauds encouragement from Dhoni and Kohli for the success of Women's team
R Sridhar, the fielding coach of the Indian men’s cricket team, expressed his delight at the performance of the Indian women’s cricket team that beat Australia 2-1 in the recently concluded three-match T20 series and revealed that words of encouragement from members of the Men in Blue could have played a part in the triumph, especially with regards to the aggressive brand of cricket displayed.
Harmanpreet Kaur’s 31-ball 46 helped India chase down a target of 141 with eight balls remaining and Sridhar said that he had advised the team to chase on the wicket, something skipper Mithali Raj opted after winning the toss.
"It was nice to bump into the Indian women's team at Adelaide before the first T20I. I know the girls well from my tenure at the NCA and we have helped them in a few camps," Sridhar told bcci.tv.
"Based on my experience, when we were here for four-and-a-half months last year, especially spending a lot of time in Adelaide, all I told them was - 'These are one of the best batting wickets around the country and chasing a score will be a very good option," he said, as reported by IBN Live.
With the T20 series between Australia and India being a double header ( the men’s and women’s teams played each other on the same day at the same venue), the women’s team made the best of the opportunity to interact with their male counterparts following their match at the MCG on Friday. The likes of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni spent a few minutes talking to the women’s team and Sridhar believes that those few minutes of encouragement has certainly paid dividends.
"The very fact that Dhoni, Kohli, Harbhajan Singh, Ajinkya Rahane and a few other boys went and met the girls on the ground shows that the men's team takes equal interest in the women's game," Sridhar said.
"Someone like a Dhoni and Virat going and having a word with them is huge and is a great confidence booster for the women's team. Such things I believe will give them wings.”
He also praised the women’s team for the aggressive approach they adopted against Australia.
"There is no point in playing conservative or cautious cricket against them. You have to play courageous cricket. That is the way they play their cricket and you have to play the same level of cricket to beat them.
"If they take one foot forward, we should take two steps forward. It is a country where you take the bull by its horns. This is what we told them and if it has helped them, I am very happy about it," Sridhar said.
The former cricketer expressed hope that the women's team can lift the World T20 trophy in front of their own fans.
“This series win should do them a world of good and hopefully they take this momentum forward. We as a team are always there to help them. We want to see them stand on that podium with the trophy on the 3rd of April," Sridhar said.