We need mental coaching, strengthening: Anjum

Published: Thursday, March 8, 2001, 18:23 [IST]
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Anjum Chopra has been one of the pillars of the Indian bating lineup in the recent past and being a left-hander is an added asset to the side. At the recently held South Zone championship Thatscricket.com caught up with the Indian vice-captain to have her chip in with her views on women's cricket.

Anjum Chopra, a resident of Delhi, currently represents Air India in the domestic circuit and has been representing the country since 1995. "We need mental coaching and mental strengthening and professional at that."

Following are the excerpts:

The Indian team left the shores on a high, though you did reach the semis you fell below your own expectations. Could you throw light into what could have gone wrong?

Yes, we did definitely under perform given that we had our sights fixed on the title. Winning is not easy, but we wanted to do well against the New Zealanders. I suppose, all of us failed at the big occasion. It could be that the occasion got to us as all of us failed to click at the same time be it with our bowling or our batting.

If it was the big occasion, then what about the league phase where you did meet the two big title contenders?

We were doing well against Australia when a bad mix up between Anju Jain and me saw India lose Anju's wicket, which was a major setback. From then on we failed to keep up with the run rate and eventually lost the match.

We were doing extremely well against New Zealand. We had the match covered till the 35th over but one dropped chance off Tiffen and she took off. That cost us the match because she virtually took New Zealand to a match winning total with the Ferns pilling, something like, 90 odd runs in the last 10 overs.

Having played New Zealand in the league phase and having committed a few errors and also having got a chance to weigh their strengths and weaknesses, one never saw you put that experience to use in the semis. On the other hand you succumbed even more easily than you did in the league phase?

Like I said nothing went right for us in the semi-finals. From the word go something or the other went wrong. We did not have a good opening partnership and then we lost a couple of wickets very quickly.

Talking of your batting not coming good, it was not a shuffle we saw in your batting lineup but a complete reversal from number one to five. To undertake an experiment of such major proportions especially in a knock out stage was a big risk to say the least?

It was a risk taken but we were more positive of the risk coming off. It was basically because Mithali Raj was ruled out that we had to change the batting order.

But then, all that needed to be done was push Chandrakantha Ahir one slot ahead and include a bat. But changing the entire batting order was not needed.

Since Mithali was out we needed to strengthen our batting order. So we experimented with Purnima Rau in the Ireland match as an opener an then we did try Smitha in the Sri Lanka match. Moreover, Anju was not doing all that well at the top, so I suppose they decided to change both the openers.

Yes, you can term it as a risk but we saw it as a positive move.

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