India's decision to bench Mithali Raj in the first two games of three-match T20 International series against New Zealand made to the headlines and made one man feel vindicated - Ramesh Powar. The former Indian head coach faced a lot of criticism on social media after dropping Mithali from the playing eleven in semi-final encounter against England last year.
But to everyone's surprise the current head coach, WV Raman continued the thought which his counterpart did a few months back. On this, Ramesh Powar went on to show his disappointment.
"I don't know what exactly is happening, but he did what exactly I did. The coach must be having some vision about how to take this team forward. You can't play forever. As a coach and captain, or the team management, you need to take a call about how to take the team forward," he told TOI.
Interestingly, Ramesh Powar's decision was backed by the skipper and generated a fair bit of controversy. The former India cricketer said, "When I or the team management took that decision regarding Mithali, I wasn't thinking about just the T20 World Cup. If the same team, which had beaten Australia in the league stage without the senior player, would have won the semifinal, and that team was almost under-25 in terms of age, it would have given them a huge amount of confidence.
"So I was thinking ahead. My vision was that if we had won that game, it would have taken the team places in the future. In two to five years, these girls would have developed into a great team. That was my thought process." Powar went onto to back WV Raman and spoke about the vision. He believes that Raman applied the same logic as he did a few months back and is hopeful that his decision will not be criticised by the populous.
"He's doing the same thing. He's thinking ahead. There's a vision. Everyone has a vision. A coach has to think about how to take his team forward. When I took this decision, I got a lot of criticism for it. I hope WV (Raman) gets a fair deal, and people don't get negative about it, and look at the bigger picture.
"He's a newly-appointed coach. He needs some time to think about how he wants to take the team forward. He has started his vision. There's no option but to think ahead. It's not about Mithali; it's about forging a combination which you think is right. He must be planning to build a team for the next T20 World Cup," Powar concluded.