Sat, 27 Apr 2019

By Priya Nagi

New Delhi [India], Jan 15 (ANI): Offspinner Anuja Patil believes that the Indian women's team is balanced to take on New Zealand in the limited-overs series, beginning on January 24.

In an exclusive interview to ANI on Wednesday, the 26-year-old, who has been selected for the T20I squad, said: "Both our bowling attack and batting line-up are brilliant. New Zealand's weather won't affect us that much. I am sure we can defend them well as our team is balanced. We have a couple of all-rounders as well, which can work in our interest."

The wickets do not tend to turn up much in New Zealand's conditions, however, India has named six spinners for the shortest format. Being one of them, the youngster from Kolhapur said: "As a spinner, I will try to vary my speed because the wicket is batting friendly. As the situation will demand, I will try to bowl accordingly."

White Ferns, as the New Zealand team is called, have enjoyed a lot of success playing at home. Talking about the most challenging Kiwi player, the Indian off-spinner said that all-rounder Sophie Devine is a brilliant hitter who has "played under all conditions and situations. So, it will be challenging against her as she knows all the shots."

Anuja, who was selected for the team in 2012, has time and again proved herself. The recent one includes her three-wicket haul against Australia in the ICC World T20 last year in the Caribbean, which she fondly remembers as part of her proud moment in her career.

India's campaign at the ICC T20 World Cup ended when India lost to England in the semi-final. The defeat raised questions on the coach Ramesh Powar's decision to drop veteran batter Mithali Raj and the differences among the team members.

However, putting an end to the news concerning differences between senior and junior players, the offspinner said: "The team is together. What happened in the Caribbean became an issue but it didn't affect the team's unity."

Having played under Harmanpreet Kaur for the last two years and under Mithali in the 2016 ICC Women's World T20, Anuja added: "Both of them understand players well and know what the requirement of the team is. They also know under what situation, which player can be fruitful."

Mithali and former head coach Powar fiasco invited both Committee of Administrators (CoA) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to step in, which led to the appointment of W.V. Raman as the new head coach.

When asked whether the changing of coach affected her performance, Anuja said: "The change of coach did not affect my performance. At this level, everybody knows their respective roles and the team requires. At this level, players do not need technical guidance. What the team requires a particular situation, we focus on that only."

"I have met him (W.V. Raman) once but I have heard he has a lot of experience in coaching. I will try to implement his technique and knowledge to improve my performance," she added.

India and New Zealand are scheduled to play three-match ODIs, which will be part of the ICC Women's Championship, and three-match T20Is. (ANI)

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