Cricket

Amazing to watch our bowlers dominate, says Smriti Mandhana

Even players like Alyssa Healy struggled against the accurate and incisive Indian attack.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Though the series was lost, opener Smriti Mandhana feels the Indian women’s cricket team gained quite a lot from its recent tour of Australia, the biggest positive being the lion-hearted performances of the bowlers in the multi-format rubber.

India lost the series 5-11 after going down in the white-ball leg and drawing the lone Test.

Lot of positives

“We had a lot of positives. Everyone did well, especially the bowling. It was one department where we were way better than the Aussies, which is a huge thing for the team,” Smriti said during a Clubhouse session on 10 years of Red Bull Campus Cricket during which its first-ever women’s edition was announced.

 

“To come to Australia and outplay their bowlers and outplay their pacers was so amazing to watch. The way Jhulan di (Goswami), Pooja (Vastrakar) and Renuka (Singh) and Shikha di (Pandey) bowled in the T20 format... It was amazing to watch our bowlers dominate the Australian batters, that was the biggest positive.”

Smriti, who had one of her best away series where she scored 86 in an ODI followed by a majestic 127, her first century in Tests, and then a 52 in the final T20I, added that had rain not played spoilsport, the series could have gone India’s way.

“If results would have gone in a different way it would have been even more better for India. Rain played spoiltsport in the Test and the first T20I in which we were in a very good position to win.

“Maybe things would have been different if there was no rain,” Smriti, who is currently playing for Sydney Thunder in the Women’s Big Bash League, said.

The 25-year-old added the team is working on improving its batting depth and the recent performances by the lower middle order is testament to that.

“It is a conscious effort to have batting depth, especially in T20 and ODI format because in white-ball cricket we might lose a few wickets and it shouldn’t always be top heavy. We should have a lot of contributors.

“Our lower middle order is contributing a lot and has done amazingly well in the recent series. Jhulan di finished the match for us in the third ODI. It showed we are all working very hard on batting.”

Multi-format series

The limited overs vice-captain backed the idea of multi-format series.

“I’m absolutely in love with this multi-format series. I think it gives substance to all the matches we play, whether it is three ODIs, one Test and three T20Is.

“Sometimes you lose two matches and think the series is lost, but in multi-format series you go in every match thinking there are two points to gain.”

India, which was in a good position to win, drew its first day-night Test against Australia which was curtailed due to rain.

“We just love playing red ball cricket and now with the pink ball. It will be cool to have a lot more of Tests, especially multi-format series. It will also give a lot of substance to the only Test match because it has four points,” Smriti said.

Indian had also played a Test against England during the summer. “It was a good experience of playing one in England and one here.

New challenge

“Day-night was a new challenge for all of us, we really didn’t get time to practice with the pink ball. We got only two days before the match. I never thought I’d get a chance to play with the pink ball. The experience under lights in whites was a dream come true.”


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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 4:16:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/amazing-to-watch-our-bowlers-dominate-says-smriti-mandhana/article37115004.ece

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