‘Let’s chase this so­lu­tion’

In­dia opener Sm­riti Mand­hana, who smashed 86, ex­presses need for some­one to shoul­der re­spon­si­bil­ity and bat through 20 overs af­ter two-run loss to NZ in third and fi­nal T20I

Mid Day - - Sport - New Zealand

HAMIL­TON: White­washed by New Zealand women in the three-match T20I series, In­dia opener Sm­riti Mand­hana yes­ter­day said her team needs to ad­dress its bat­ting woes, es­pe­cially af­ter los­ing all the games from win­ning po­si­tions.

In­dia al­most pulled off a dra­matic win but failed to score a bound­ary in the fi­nal de­liv­ery to lose the third and fi­nal T20I by a mere two runs here.

Chas­ing 162, Mand­hana took the In­dian team on course for a con­so­la­tion win with a ca­reer-best knock of 86 from 52 balls but the vis­it­ing side failed to build on her scin­til­lat­ing knock to end the in­nings at 159 for four.

Scope for im­prove­ment

“Well, I think the girls fought re­ally well. If you look back at the series and see, 70 or 80 per cent of the times we were in win­ning po­si­tions. That’s a good take away but there are a lot of things which we can im­prove,” said Mand­hana.

“We need to ad­dress those (bat­ting) is­sues as soon as pos­si­ble. We need some­one who can bat through 20 overs and some­one who can go in at the mid­dle overs and get runs later on,” she said.

Mand­hana re­turned as the high­est run-get­ter in the T20I series, amass­ing 180 runs from three games at an av­er­age of 60, in­clud­ing two half-cen­turies.

But she didn’t get enough sup­port from the other end and the left-han­der rued her in­abil­ity to get In­dia home yes­ter­day. “I re­ally wanted to fin­ish the game for In­dia. I have never been that an­i­mated ever. I badly wanted to do it to­day and help the team get over the line but un­for­tu­nately, I could not,” the south­paw said.

Count­ing on the pos­i­tives from the New Zealand tour, Mand­hana said: “We have done a lot of good things. We re­ally played well in the first two matches of the ODI series. But we be­came a lit­tle com­pla­cent af­ter that and we will try to go with the same in­ten­sity in all the fu­ture matches.”

Su­per crowd

Mand­hana was de­lighted to see the crowd re­sponse in the en­tire tour and hoped for same re­sponse from the fans of women’s cricket in fu­ture.

“Def­i­nitely, be­cause the girls don’t have the ex­pe­ri­ence of play­ing in front of such good crowds. We gen­er­ally get this sort of crowd in World Cup. If we can pull crowds in such series that will re­ally be good, ev­ery­one will be pre­pared to play un­der pres­sure,” she said.

‘I re­ally wanted to fin­ish the game for In­dia. I badly wanted to do it to­day and help the team get over the line but un­for­tu­nately, I could not’ In­dia opener Sm­riti Mand­hana

BRIEF SCORES

In­dia opener Sm­riti Mand­hana clouts one to the leg side dur­ing her 86 off 52 balls against New Zealand in Hamil­ton yes­ter­day.

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