India did pull off a very nail-biting victory in Hove against England in the second T20 International, but it was after a really long time that Indian bowlers defended a moderately high total. But Smriti Mandhana is more concerned about the team’s run-scoring ability in the 50-over format.
Smriti Mandhana, who is currently in England for a multi-format series, has done fine in the series and has some good opening partnerships with Shafali Verma to give India a head start.
During a virtual press conference, Smriti talked about the team’s inability to score 250+ runs in an ODI match, “We have to work on a lot of things, especially in the batting department. Going forward, the next seven months will be really crucial.”
“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.
India reached the final of the 2017 World Cup but fell short by just nine runs and couldn’t even chase a total of 228 runs. Mandhana said that the Australia tour will play a very important role in preparing the team for the World Cup next year.
The Indian women’s team will be touring Australia in the month of September and October. They will kick start the tour with 3 One-Day Internationals, followed by the most awaited pink-ball test at Perth between September 30- October 3 and the tour will be concluded on October 11, the day on which India will play their third and last T20I match against Australia.
“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,” Mandhana said.
Mandhana also talked about the comeback that India made in the last overs during the second T20I against England in Hove, “The way we made a comeback in last five overs, it showed the character of our bowlers and fielders. That confidence will really help us to give 100 percent to win the match tomorrow. But it will be a new day. The win puts us in a position to draw the multiformat series.”
Indian all-rounder Sneh Rana was definitely the gem that was discovered during this series. Making a comeback to international cricket after 5 years, Rana made a strong 144-run partnership with Taniya Bhatia after India got a follow on and saved the match for India. Their efforts worked in favor of India and they were successful in drawing the match that very much looked in England’s favor. Her bowling brilliance with the red ball was commendable too.
“Sneh’s comeback has been very inspirational for all of us. I was in the team when she was a member three-four years back. To see her comeback in all three formats in this way is really commendable. Her addition is going to add a lot of balance to the batting, especially with her power-hitting abilities.”
India will face England in the series decider at the County Ground in Chelmsford on the 14th of July. The multi-format series currently stands in favor of England at 8-6 and the T20I series is now equaled at 1-1.