Over the past couple of years, India has pushed Australia to the limit in bilateral tournaments as well as in ICC tournaments, but it hasn’t been enough to end the title drought in world tournaments.
At both this year’s T20 World Cup and the 2022 Commonwealth Games, India swept Australia to the mat and then threw it away.
Australia ruled the game when Sthalekar played, and the Meg Lanning-led team took that superiority to an unbeatable level.
When I played, and it’s the same now, the Australian team believes it can win in any situation, simply because it has done so in the past. I can talk about my generation. On my NSW team, we won national titles regularly, and there were times when we shouldn’t have won, but we did.
So when you have that belief, it’s very hard to coach and coach it. You have to be put in those situations, and you have to come out of them successfully to start believing that (you can win out of any situation).
India has been this close to winning many times before, they just need to get over the line and things will change, Sthalekar told PTI.
The 43-year-old cricketer, who hails from Pune, believes more recruitment will help India become more competitive on the field.
Apart from the WPL (Women’s Premier League), potentially if they can put together an India A team that travels, it will be an important step towards creating a group of players who will qualify for selection at the top level.
Once there is a big influx of players competing for positions, then this India team will go to the next level. They are the only side that pushes Australia on a regular basis. With regular competitive cricket, be it states, WPL or A side, you can see them winning crucial moments in ICC competitions.
I would like to see more Indian women who did not play in the championship raise their hands in the next WPL
Although the first Women’s Premier League was a great success, there were not many Indian players whose performances stood out. Sthalekar, who was a member of the support staff at UP Warriorz, expects more undeclared players to shine in the second edition.
You look at how the WPL was conducted. You look at IPL teams like Delhi (Capitals), RCB and Mumbai (Indians), and on the infrastructure they have, surely these players would benefit from participating in such a system.
Doesn’t mean their state setup isn’t good enough, but it would add another layer. The men’s IPL, historically, we’ve seen it take a few years, and I assume the WPL will follow the same path, but I’d like to see a few more domestic players raise their hands in the next issue. She would also like to see home and away games from the next edition. The first season was played at two venues in Mumbai for logistical reasons.
It was an exciting opportunity to see Indian players, especially domestic players. Domestic players suddenly got to see the game at this level. They mingled with international players, and the lessons they learned will certainly help them learn from this and rise higher in their preparation. Talking about who should be India’s next head coach, Sthalekar added: Whether it’s an Indian or a foreigner, that person should be able to take the Indian team to the next level. A few finishing touches need to be put in and I have no doubt that the Indian team will be world champions, she added.
The BCCI has shortlisted candidates for the top job and the Cricket Advisory Committee is expected to select the coach before the series against Bangladesh next month.