Smriti Mandhana admits Indian team needs to improve in batting department ahead of Women's ODI World Cup

Mandhana wants the team to start posting 250+ scores consistently.

Smriti Mandhana | GettyOpener Smriti Mandhana on Tuesday (July 13) expressed concern over India’s indifferent batting performances in the 50-over format.

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Before travelling to England, Indian women hosted South Africa In five ODIs and managed to win only one game.

In the ongoing tour of England, Mithali Raj and company suffered a 2-1 loss in the three-match ODI series.

While skipper Mithali registered scores of 72, 59 and 75* in the recently held series against England, only one came in winning cause and in other two her slow batting didn’t serve any purpose.

“We have to work on a lot of things, especially in the batting department. Going forward, the next seven months will be really crucial,” Mandhana said in a virtual media conference on the eve of third T20I against England, looking ahead to next year’s ODI World Cup in New Zealand.

“We have to start putting up good scores. If I talk about the ODI format, we have to start posting 250-260-plus scores consistently while batting first, that’s something we have to work on.

“And of course, our bowling and fielding can get consistent. We are probably one good performance (away) and then becoming okay, so I think we can be consistent in that department as well,” she added.

According to Mandhana, Australia series would be crucial to tighten up the loose ends ahead of the World Cup, due to be played in March-April.

The India women’s cricket team is scheduled to tour Australia in September-October 2021, where they will play three ODIs, three T20Is and their first-ever Pink ball Day/Night Test.

“Next seven months will be very crucial to get ourselves ready before the World Cup (in New Zealand). Of course the Australia series will also going to be big in terms of preparations for the World Cup.”

Indian team registered a thrilling eight-run victory over England in the second T20I at Hove to keep the series alive.

Invited to bat first, the visitors posted 148/4 in 20 overs on the back of opener Shafali Verma’s 38-ball 48. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur also played a valuable knock of 25-ball 31.

In reply, England women were cruising in the chase at one stage before the Indian spinners and fielders turned things around to restrict the hosts to 140/8.

“The way we made a comeback in last five overs, it showed character of our bowlers and fielders. That confidence will really help us to give 100 per cent to win the match tomorrow. But it will be a new day. The win puts us in a position to draw the multiformat series,” Mandhana said.

Smriti Mandhana also credited head coach Ramesh Powar for making a positive impact especially with the bowling unit.

“He has had a big impact especially on the bowling unit. Ramesh sir helped us a lot in the way we came back, and the character we showed.”

(With PTI inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 14 Jul, 2021

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