Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues. ©BCCI

New Zealand clean swept India in the T20I series against India, after winning today match by 2 runs. Sophie Devine was named the player of the series for her all-round performance. Devine has been in a formidable form. She mentioned, “I like winning so it’s good to come on the top.”

“Leigh Kasperek has been around for a couple of years. She held her nerve when the Indians let her go down the wire. Credit to them to take us there. Also, to the young ones to get the job the finished,” said the player of the series Sophie Devine on the last over of the match where 16 runs were required.

Also Read: India’s over dependence on Mandhana and Harmanpreet raises questions over team composition

Smriti Mandhana said, 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 takeaway but there are a lot of things which we can improve.” 

India got the game in their hands after Mandhana’s 86 off 62 balls, but lost as they were unable to score the boundary of the last ball. Highlighting the drawback Smriti continued, “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.” 

“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,” said Mandhana. 

Mandhana has been the leading runs scorer, and her wicket has proven to be a game changer. She continued, “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 couldn’t.”

Also Read: More questions than answers for India after T20I series loss against New Zealand

India has been trying to build a team for the upcoming T20 World Cup. Smriti Mandhana needs a partner to accompany her. 

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

India needs to get back to the drawing board before the upcoming series against England. New Zealand has to keep it’s momentum going in series against Australia.

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