India\’s ace woman wicketkeeper Sulakhshana Naik stood under the blazing sun in the open nets at the Feroz Shah Kotla,her position behind Sunitha Anand giving her a good view of the younger \’keeper\’s collection technique. Periodically the veteran would go up to Sunitha and offer a word of advice on her collection and footwork. India would be expecting this partnership between experience and youth to work out as it readies itself for a tour to the Caribbean.
The team that has been picked for this tour to the West Indies has been selected keeping in mind the objective of blooding young talent,with the overseas tour itself being a bootcamp of sorts for the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka,come September. The selectors are hoping that the senior players in the squad help the youngsters get up to speed with the pace of International cricket and are banking on the experience and nous of the seniors to help the youngsters.
Former India opener Anju Jain,the coach of the team said,”This team was selected keeping in mind the World Cup,these youngsters have been doing well in the domestic circuit and now it is time for them to show what they can do for India.” Jain said that youngsters like left arm spinner Ekta Bisht and medium pacer Subhlaxmi Sharma have considerable potential. “These youngsters are very talented and we are giving them international exposure in order to get them ready for the T20 and limited overs World Cup.”
One of the senior players who will also be leading from the front will be left-hander Anjum Chopra. Chopra,who has been re-instated as the captain of the national team,was confident that the team would do well in the Caribbean.
Batting mainstay and the world\’s No. 1 batswoman Mithali Raj said that unlike previous tours,the team has had sufficient time to prepare for the series against the West Indies. “We spent 10 days at the NCA and then two days in Delhi,I think we are well prepared to mount a strong challenge.” said Raj. Raj said that she was comfortable being the bedrock of the Indian team but she said she expected youngsters to start taking more responsibility. Raj also added that the team combination was more or less fixed and that there would be very little rotation in the squad.
Another partnership that is waiting to click is that between the new look team and the new coach. Jhulan Goswami,India\’s pace spearhead is confident of success however,praising Anju Jain\’s appointment as coach. She said player management and overall coordination in the side was much better since Jain\’s arrival.
(Chinmay Brahme is a student of the Express Institute of Media Studies.)