India’s fielding coach Abhay Sharma focused on improving girls’ athletic strength and techniques

Ahead of India’s tour of England, fielding coach Abhay Sharma’s aim would be to improve all the players’ strength and technique in the game. His focus would be on helping the cricketers with their catching, and also running between the wickets so as to rotate strikes at regular intervals.

 

Abhay Sharma. PC: Mid Day
Abhay Sharma. PC: Mid Day

 

When compared to the foreign players, especially teams like England and Australia, the Indian women’s team lack athletic strength. Saving the ball going through the boundary in the game and not giving away extra runs would be something to work upon robustly during their tour of England. Sharma will be able to train every player individually because there isn’t any time constraint.

“Overall development is needed as far as fielding is concerned. The game is changing, you have to be more athletic. Technically, work needs to be done. What I observed is that a lot of girls are struggling with their throwing techniques. “If you develop wrong technique in your early days then it troubles you with injuries. Once the technical side is taken care of, then you can build on the strength part,” Sharma told PTI.

In the recently concluded home series against South Africa, the Indian side saw a lot of misfielding and as a result, the girls gave away too many runs and dropped many catches as well. Sharma had trained the girls during that series, but because the planning happened very late, he didn’t get to spend much time with the team.

“This time I will interact with more on a one-to-one basis rather than group and assess what they feel about the game and then try and match up to my expectations. But as of now technically they really need to work hard. What I have noticed in women’s cricket is that a lot of U-19 players are going on to play for the senior team. The workload is more on their shoulders and they are not that strong,” Sharma added.

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The South Africa series was India’s first series in 12 months. The women in blue were playing an international game after 364 days. The performance overall looked very weak, and as a result, the Proteas women won both the ODI and T20I series.

 

Lizelle Lee in 3rd ODI vs India. PC: OfficialCSA/Twitter
Lizelle Lee in 3rd ODI vs India. PC: OfficialCSA/Twitter

 

Talking about the recently concluded series and the girls’ performance in the game, Sharma said: “In the last series, there was a lapse in judgment in some cases, maybe because they were playing after a long time. A lot depends on the frame of mind. We will work sincerely on that front. The running between wickets is a huge part of the game. If the team is having good coordination, then you can convert those singles into twos and that is one area where we can add pressure on the opposition.”

Sharma was also seen praising Shafali Verma and her approach towards the game. He said that the 17-year-old has been working a lot on her fitness and her batting and fielding in the game. She proved herself in the South Africa series when she played outstandingly in the T20I series.

 

Shafali Verma regains Top Spot
Shafali Verma regains Top Spot in ICC Rankings. PC: ICC

 

Talking about the Test series against England that the Indian team will be playing after almost 7 years, he thanked the BCCI for taking the initiative and arranging the red-ball game.

“It is a very good and welcome step. However, since the women don’t play red-ball cricket, it will be a challenge. The longest format is always difficult because that is real cricket. It will be totally new experience for most of the girls. I am sure they will enjoy it,” he concluded.

Vaishnavi Iyer

I’m a Senior Masters student pursuing Journalism and Mass Communication. An all time Cricket enthusiast. I could never play the game but always loved watching it, and now writing about it!

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