Smriti Mandhana confident of completing the multi-format series on high
The stage is set for the showdown of the series. England currently leads the multi-point series 8-6, but India has a chance and momentum on their side leading up to the third and final T20I. India’s Vice-captain for the shortest format believes her team is ready to take the T20I series and draw the month-long multi-format series against England tomorrow (July 14) at Chelmsford.
Speaking to the media a day before the final match of the tour Mandhana highlighted the importance of the comeback victory in the second T20I. “It was a very important win for the team, especially the way we came back in the last five overs to come back and win that match. That showed a lot of character from bowlers and also fielders. It also puts us in the position of winning the T20I series in the next match and draw the multi-format series,” She said.
It has been the case with India’s batting lineup that, after getting a good start there have been wobbles in the middle overs. The run rate in the middle overs has been the cause of concern and Mandhana explained that the team has understood their past mistakes.
“We had a discussion about middle overs. The problem is that we are losing wickets back-to-back and that puts a brake on the run rate. It has happened before so we need to get better at communication as a batting unit and hopefully we better our mistakes in tomorrow’s match,” she explained.
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India will play a multi-format series against Australia with an eye on ODI World Cup in 2022. Mandhana believes her team needs to work on many things ahead of the World Cup. “For a batting unite next seven months are going to be really crucial. I think, in One Day format, we have to start posting 250+ scores when we are batting first, consistently. Our bowling and fielding can get consistent. Australian series is also going to be big in terms of preparations for the world cup.”
India has the luxury of having three wicket-keepers on the tour including, Taniya Bhatia, Richa Ghosh and uncapped Indrani Roy. Richa Ghosh was handed the responsibility for the T20I series and she has been thoroughly impressive in the first two matches of the T20I series. She was part of four dismissals that tanked England in their pursuit of 148 in the second T20I. Mandhana has seen Ghosh shoot up the ranks closely.
“She (Ghosh) has improved massively in her keeping. Even when the Test and ODIs were on she was working hard on her keeping. She did pretty well with the gloves. And her taking gloves for us, in the long run, can be useful for the combination and balance of the team.”
Along with new faces, the comeback story of Sneh Rana has been inspirational for the entire team. Mandhana was all praise for the find of the series for India. “ To see her come back this way and open the doors in all three formats is really inspirational.”
“She has performed in a way that she crashed the door and came in playing-11 for all three formats is commendable. Her performance is going to add a lot of balance to the team,” she concluded.