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Mandhana calls for consistency from India’s batting group

In the second T20I against England, India mounted a remarkable comeback to win by 8 runs and tie the three-match series at 1-1. After posting 148 for4, India was struggling to defend the target at one point, with Tammy Beaumont and Heather Knight putting on a 75-run third-wicket stand.

England Picked Only 24 Runs

England scored only 24 runs in the final six overs and was eventually reduced to 140 for eight. With the victory, India has maintained its chances of tying for second place in the multi-format tournament. Smriti Mandhana, India’s T20I vice-captain, believes that the team still has a lot of work to do to improve.

“It was a very important win for the team, especially with the way we came back in the last five overs… to win that match,” Mandhana said on Tuesday ahead of the last match of the tour. “That showed a lot of character from the bowlers and also the fielders… winning the second match – especially the way we came back in the last five overs – showed a lot of character. That was something which was needed.

The way we played in the third one-day and again in the second T20, that is something which was much needed, that confidence is going to really help us. But we all know that it’s going to be a new day tomorrow. So we won’t have anything but the confidence is going to be high for our girls to go out there and give a hundred percent and probably win the match.

“Harry [Harmanpreet Kaur] coming back (to form) and hitting a few balls – that’s a very good thing for the Indian team. The win was really important and it also puts us in a position to win the T20I series in the next match and draw the multi-format series.”

“There are lots of things we need to work on as a team, especially in the batting department,” she said. “Going forward, the next seven months are going to be really crucial. We have to start putting up good scores. If I talk about the one-day format, we have to start posting 250/260-plus scores when you are batting first consistently.

Of course, our bowling and fielding can get consistent. We are probably having one good performance and probably one which is ‘okay. I think we can be consistent in that department. So the next seven months are going to be very crucial to get ourselves completely ready for the one-day World Cup. Of course, the Australia series is also going to be big in terms of preparations for the World Cup.”

The wicketkeeping gloves to Richa Ghosh

In the T20I series, one of the options made to improve the batting was to give the wicketkeeping gloves to Richa Ghosh rather than Taniya Bhatia, who is a greater ‘keeper.

The 17-year-improved old’s performance behind the stumps has been crucial for India and will be even more so in the future. Commending her efforts

“I think she has improved massively on her ‘keeping. I can see her working hard – even when the Tests and one-days were on, she was really working hard with her ‘keeping. That’s also showing off in the match. She did pretty well with the gloves and she taking the gloves for us in the long run, I think [she] can be very useful for the combination and the balance of the team.” Mandhana said.

“Sneh Rana’s comeback is very inspirational for all of us,” she said. “I was in the team when she was part of the 15 three-four years back. Coming back in this way, opening the doors in all three formats, it’s something really inspirational. When you are coming back, you have the extra added pressure of performing well, proving yourself once again.

She has performed in a way that she has crashed the door and come into the eleven in all three formats. That’s something really commendable and she performing that way is going to add a lot of balance to the team. Especially with the batting skills she has, she can hit the ball really well.

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