Mumbai: A recent pep talk by batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar has given a big boost to the Indian women`s cricket team ahead of its Twenty20 World Cup campaign in the in the West Indies, captain Jhulan Goswami said on Thursday.
"Sachin Tendulkar was kind enough to talk to us during our 10-day practice at the Bandra-Kurla Complex here. He had come to practice with the Mumbai Indians team. He told us to stick to the basics. It has given us a lot of boost and confidence," the 26-year-old medium pacer told reporters here.
The 14-member strong Indian women`s squad is set to depart in the early hours of tomorrow to the Caribbean to try and improve on its last year`s showing in England when it lost in the semifinals.
Jhulan, who has claimed over 100 wickets in limited overs women`s internationals, said the them`s stint in the last year`s T20 World Cup would stand her team in good stead in the upcoming tournament.
"We learned a lot during last year`s chanmpionship and that experience would help us. T20 is physically and mentally draining as it`s very intense. We have to be on our toes all the time," said the lanky fast bowler who is a past recipient of the ICC`s Woman Player of the Year award.
But Jhulan said that fielding is one area the Indian team lags behind from other international sides like England, Australia and New Zealand.
"We can improve our fielding in which England, Australia and New Zealand are ahead of us. We have a fielding coach now and that should help us," Jhulan said.
The Bengal player said the team`s preparations have been good with a fitness specific camp being followed by a second camp laying emphasis on cricket skills.
She said the team members were visiting the Caribbean for the first time and have two practice games in hand to get used to the wicket and weather conditions before the opening contest on May 6 against New Zealand women.
According to Jhulan a score of 140-150 was a good one in this format.
She was also looking forward to interact with the men`s team, especially captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni but that would be possible only if both the sides make the semifinals.
"Dhoni is my favourite. He`s a smart captain," she said.
Coach KVP Rao said the team was a good mix of experienced players and youngsters, besides the presence of seven all-rounders.
The squad: Jhulan Goswami (capt), Poonam Raut, Anjum Chopra, Anagha Deshpande, Gouhar Sultana, Diana David, Rumeli Dhar, Sulakshana Naik, Praiyanka Roy, Reema Malhotra, Soniya Dabir, Amita Sharma, Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur
Coach: KVP Rao