ENGW v INDW 2021: Smriti Mandhana speaks on having fun opening along with Shafali Verma

Mandhana and Shafali compliment each other very well at the top.

Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma during the ongoing series against England | BCCI Women/Twitter

Since making her debut in September 2019, Shafali Verma, the new age star of Indian women’s cricket has always been in the headlines for her aggressive strokeplay.

Ahead of the third T20I against England, Shafali's opening partner Smriti Mandhana spoke about the two enjoying their game together on the field.

“It’s been about a year and a half since Shaifu (Shafali) and I started opening together in the T20I format. In this tour I also opened with her in the one-dayers and the Test. It’s a lot of fun to be involved in partnerships with her," Mandhana said in the pre-match press conference on the eve of the series decider T20I.

The duo has opened together for India in 22 T20I innings so far, scoring 790 runs at an average of 37.61, the highest for any opening pair in the shortest format.

In the first two games of the series, the paid added 0 & 70 but unable to cross the 10 over mark together so far. The T20I vice-captain of the team, Mandhana, spoke about batting together for longer periods with Verma.

"We know what exactly to tell each other, so that helps quite a bit, especially in the T20I format. The one thing we need to work on as an opening combination is to carry on till at least the 15th or the 16th over. That will be good for our team. We will be working on that." she added.

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The opener also talked about the India’s problem of losing wickets in quick successions and how the team will be working on it to clinch the series this Wednesday (July 14)

"We have had a discussion about the middle overs and also the death overs about how we can get better. Definitely one point is that we are losing out two wickets at a time. That really puts a brake on our run rate. That's something we have to work on as a team." she said.

The left-hander also added, "That happened in the previous formats as well and it's happening in the T20I also, that we are getting out back-to-back. That puts pressure on two new batters. That's a communication thing we need to get better as a batting unit. We have all definitely understood our mistakes, and hopefully we'll better our mistakes in tomorrow's game."

The three-match T20I series hangs at level after visitors produced some heroics with the ball defending a par score in the second T20I. The decider of the series will be played this Wednesday (July 14) in Chelmsford.

(With IANS inputs)


By Vansh Mahajan - 14 Jul, 2021

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