“One bad day or one bad tournament doesn’t define a player” – Shreyanka Patil on Shafali Verma’s performance

The Women in Blue achieved a clean sweep in the ongoing South Africa vs India multi-format series by winning all three ODIs convincingly. They started with a commanding 143-run victory in the series opener, followed by a tense 4-run win in the second ODI, and finally chased down a target of 216 runs comfortably with 56 balls to spare in the last ODI.

One bad day or one bad tournament doesn't define a player - Shreyanka Patil on Shafali Verma's performance
One bad day or one bad tournament doesn’t define a player – Shreyanka Patil on Shafali Verma’s performance

Opting to bat first in the final ODI, South Africa managed 215/8, with Laura Wolvaardt scoring 61 runs and Tazmin Brits contributing 38. Deepti Sharma and Arundhati Reddy each took 2 wickets for India. In reply, India’s opening pair of Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana provided a strong start. Mandhana fell short of her third consecutive century, scoring 90, while Harmanpreet Kaur’s composed 42 ensured India’s victory with six wickets in hand.

Following the match, all-rounder Shreyanka Patil, who dismissed South Africa’s Marizanne Kapp who scored a century the other day, held a press conference at Bengaluru’s M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

ON THE TEAM’S ODI COMEBACK AFTER AUSTRALIA SERIES

Shreyanka Patil reflected on the team’s response after the series against Australia. She mentioned that the team had discussions about both the positives and negatives from the series and stayed connected through video calls. They focused on improving through bowling and batting camps, as well as enhancing their fielding skills. She emphasized the hard work put in by all players and expressed satisfaction with the team’s dominant performance in Bangalore, where they swept the 3-match ODI series.

She mentioned, “I think after that series we all sat as a unit and we discussed what went wrong, what went right it’s not what went wrong and also spoke about the positives and the negatives.”

She further added, “So I think once you keep working hard the results will obviously show.”

ON THE COACHING STAFF EXPERIMENTING WITH THE PLAYING 11

Shreyanka Patil expressed her respect for the coaching staff’s decisions regarding experimenting with the playing XI. She acknowledged the importance of having the right eleven players for each match and appreciated the clarity and support from the coaching team. Shreyanka highlighted that her roles are well-defined, and the coaches consistently give her confidence and support, especially as an all-phase bowler. She emphasized her happiness with their decisions and the extra support they provide.

She stated, “They just keep giving me that confidence Asking me to do the same thing going forward so I think it’s very simple and clear from there’s point of view.”

ON THE BOWLING PLANS FOR THE SOUTH AFRICA BATTERS

Shreyanka Patil described the meticulous planning and preparation that went into the bowling strategy for the South African batters. During a 10-day camp in Bangalore, the bowling unit focused on field placements, individual strengths, and areas for improvement. They engaged in discussions and shared insights to understand the best field settings for each bowler. Despite acknowledging that execution in the last game could have been better, Shreyanka highlighted that the team addressed these issues in meetings. The improved execution in the subsequent match resulted from their collective efforts and better preparation.

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She said, “I think when we had this bowler camp, we were all Getting as a unit and discussing what the field placements are going to be, what your strengths are and what you can actually work on.”

ON THE TEAM’S IMPROVEMENT IN FIELDING

Shreyanka Patil emphasized the team’s commitment to fielding, placing it as a priority before bowling and batting. She explained that regardless of individual performances in batting or bowling, fielding is crucial because saving runs directly contributes to the team’s success. She cited Jemimah Rodrigues’ efforts in a previous game as an example of how effective fielding can impact the overall result. The team has a fielding target set by their coach, and everyone is working hard towards it. Shreyanka highlighted the importance of enjoying fielding and the collective effort to improve, with players encouraging each other to take more catches and execute direct hits. The dedication to fielding is evident in the team’s performance, and they are pleased with the results.

She asserted, “You might have scored a hundred or got an odd duck out or maybe you’ve got a 5-fer and 4-fer or not that good day for you. But on the field if you’re there saving five runs is still a win for your team.”

She further acknowledged Jemimah’s fielding saying, “If you see the last game the way Jemmi just threw her body around the boundary line, she saved a lot of runs for Team India and it came up again last over.”

ON THE CONVERSATIONS AND PLAN IN BOWLER’S CAMP

Shreyanka Patil discussed the strategic conversations and plans developed during the bowler’s camp; their focus on various scenarios, such as dealing with ongoing partnerships and identifying specific plans for different batters like Laura Wolvaardt and Marizanne Kapp. The team emphasized having multiple plans and relied on their captain, Harmanpreet Kaur (“Harry Di”), for support and experimentation. She appreciated Harmanpreet’s openness to their suggestions and her strategic decisions, such as asking pacers to vary their deliveries. The camp included targeted practice sessions where bowlers worked on specific areas and field settings. They engaged in match simulations, including playing against boys in Bangalore, which boosted their confidence and helped them identify effective strategies. These efforts were designed to enhance their performance against South Africa, reinforcing the importance of preparation and adaptability.

Shreyanka reflected, “I think that Trust we have with the captain is very very important and she doing that here was really nice and giving that paces asking them to bowl a slower one or a bounce.”

ON DISMISSING MARIZANNE KAPP

Shreyanka Patil described her strategy and execution in dismissing Marizanne Kapp during the match. She noted that there was some turn on offer from the wicket, which prompted her decision to switch to bowling around the wicket after discussing it with Harmanpreet Kaur (“Harry di”). Sensing an opportunity as Kapp was playing slightly uppishly, Shreyanka decided it was the right moment to attempt a wicket. She bowled her best off-spin delivery, inducing Kapp to push the ball back towards her, resulting in a caught and bowled dismissal. Reflecting on her catch, Shreyanka expressed happiness, especially after dropping a catch in the Australia series previously. She mentioned visualizing the dismissal of key players like Kapp and Laura Wolvaardt in a similar fashion the night before, which made her accomplishment even more satisfying.

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She expressed, “In the Australia series, I dropped one. Now to take that catch, I was very happy. And I was just visualizing last night also, I want to get Kappy or Laura Wolvaardth out this way. And I got it, I’m very happy.”

ON THE PREPARATIONS IN THE CAMP AHEAD OF THE MULTI-FORMAT SERIES

Shreyanka highlighted the thorough preparation the team underwent in the camp ahead of the multi-format series. She mentioned the involvement of specialists like Sneh Rana, Deepti Sharma, and Meghna Singh, who worked not only on their red-ball skills but also adapted them for the white-ball format. The focus was on hitting specific lengths, practicing variations, and visualizing game scenarios. Coaches Avishkar Salvi and Sai provided guidance, analyzing videos to identify areas for improvement. During the 10-day camp, the team engaged in various drills and practice sessions, including bowling to under-14 boys to simulate match conditions. This comprehensive preparation aimed to make the bowlers effective against South African batters and any opposition by creating discomfort and challenges with their deliveries. The experience gained from these sessions boosted the team’s confidence significantly.

She said, “I think even in the camp, we had red ball specialists doing their job there, be it Charu di (Sneh Rana) and Deepti, Meghna and all. So it’s not just bowling the red ball, they were also bowling the white ball and just getting prepared for what comes next.”

ON SHAFALI VERMA’S BATTING

Shreyanka expressed her perspective on Shafali Verma’s batting, emphasizing that as a player, everyone strives to perform well for the team, giving their best in every opportunity. She acknowledged that players have both successful days and challenging ones, stressing that Shafali has been exceptional across all formats and has contributed significantly to the team’s success. Shreyanka highlighted the importance of not letting one bad day or tournament define a player’s abilities, reaffirming her confidence in Shafali’s capabilities and the valuable role she plays for the team.

Shreyanka on Shafali, “She’s been doing amazingly well in all formats and she’s been successful for the team. So one bad day or one bad tournament doesn’t define a player. So she’s doing a really good job.”

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