"We always discuss Australian fielding, because skill wise we believe we are really close. Fielding is something that has been bothering us, and we need to think about that and do well in the future," noted India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur at the post match presentations following India's big loss to Australia in the third ODI.
"Not the fielding standard expected for the Indian women's cricket team" - Jemimah
A plethora of catches went down in the second ODI which India lost narrowly to Australia and poor fielding and catching hurt them again in the third game which the visitors won by a commanding margin to cleansweep the ODI series. Phoebe Litchfield was the major beneficiary on Tuesday (January 2) as she was put down by Deepti Sharma when she was on 61 and she went on to make an impactful 119, sharing a record stand with Alyssa Healy, that set up Australia's big win.
Addressing the post-match press conference, Jemimah Rodrigues also accepted that fielding was a major letdown for India in the series but she promised that the players will work hard on it.
"I don't think there's any reason we can give, we need to accept what we've done. We've not played to our highest potential, especially in the fielding department there's a lot of work we need to still continue (doing). We have been working on it but definitely not the standard expected for the Indian women's cricket team. But I can assure you that we will work on it and come back stronger," she said.
"I don't think it's anything to do with fatigue. I think it's just something we need to really work on. I wouldn't blame anything because we've been getting everything - the practices we want, the light practices (under floodlights) and everything. I just can't say it was a bad day because a bad day can't keep on coming again and again. But again I'm telling you, we promise you that we are going to work hard on this aspect.
"We've already spoken and each individual understands how important fielding is. And taking those catches and saving those runs might just end up winning matches. From all of our side we promise you that we'll work extremely hard on our fielding and extremely hard on our fitness. It might take a while. Results are not in our hands but what's in our hands is the hardwork that we put in and I can assure you that it will be a 100 percent every time," added Rodrigues.
It has been a mixed-bag performance from India since December with Amol Muzumdar taking over as head coach of the team. They won the Test matches against England and Australia by good margins but lost the T20I series against England 2-1 and Australia proved too good for them in the 50-over matches.
"It's a new coaching staff. We've not spent a lot of time with Amol sir, whatever time we've spent is just before the series could start. But before that, for Amol sir to understand the girls, I think he's done his homework before coming in. But then coming in and gelling up, and even for the girls to gel up with Amol sir...because it's not easy whenever a new coach comes in but I think the best part of our team was everyone gelled up well. And everyone understood each other and the roles really well and really quick," Rodrigues said.
"But of course we need a little more time, maybe some camp where we can actually get to work together even more because that's just going to help us. But I think having Amol sir has really helped us a lot and the girls have gelled up really well with him. We are very comfortable and he's very comfortable with us. But for us it's just about how we are going to get better. About the T20s we've not had a conversation yet, because we kept it for after the ODIs, we wanted to go one match at a time."
Speaking about the heavy workload that the Indian women have experienced with the back-to-back series against England and Australia, Rodrigues credited the support staff for managing them well.
"Credit goes to our support staff because they've been having a lot of conversations regarding our workload. It is very intense, we've played two Tests and a lot of matches throughout this one month. But I think the way our trainers, our physios, our masseurs and also the coaching staff have come together and sorted out a plan, everyone has been looked after.
"We have our GPS unit, each one is on and everyone's is calculated. And accordingly rest is given and accordingly if someone has not done as much, they might push a little harder in the nets. So credit goes to them. They've been managing it really well. At the same time we have no complaints because all we wanted to do was play matches and we're getting to play matches. That's how we'll learn, that's how we'll grow, the more we play as a team," she said.