Smriti Mandhana after hitting a century. ©Getty Images
Posiview-InPost

New Zealand start off the T20I series with a win against India by 23 runs. While India had a target of 160 runs, Mandhana and Rodrigues tried their best to get India to pass the line, New Zealand’s spearhead Tahuhu ensured that they were restricted by taking timely wickets.

Smriti Mandhana looked formidable after her 24 balls half-century and partnership of 98 with Jemimah. To which White Ferns fast bowler and leading wicket-taker of the match Tahuhu, “As soon as Amy threw me the bowl, I knew the aim was to break the partnership and take wickets.” She also stated that the partnership looked “outstanding” and “When we broke that partnership we really jumped in,” said Tahuhu.

From 102/1 the Indian batting line up collapsed like a pack of cards to  129/7 in the 18th over.

“We were cruising till the 12th over. Next time, I’ll try to bat till the 18th or the 20th over when I am set. It becomes easier when one of the top three or four batters bat deep. The other batters can also support them. Tactically, that will be the change we will be trying to make,” she added.

India vice–captain Smriti Mandhana in the press conference said, “I thought my wicket, along with Jemimah’s was crucial at that stage,” Mandhana said at the post-match press conference. “To lose those wickets in quick succession proved to be costly. In T20I cricket, it makes a big difference if the required rate is over seven-eight. It is important to have a set batter at that stage.”

“Next time, we have to plan better. We planned here as well but it didn’t work out. We thought we had the run rate under control. It was under seven. We ended up conceding 10-15 runs extra with the ball. If you get [Sophie] Devine, [Amy] Satterthwaite and [Suzie] Bates out, it is crucial to not let their lower middle-order not score enough runs. The wicket was good to bat on and we should have surely chased down the total.”

After a spectacular ODI run when asked that she was the best in the world. “You can’t score a 60 and say that it is your best. Maybe chasing this total down could have been one of my best. Only when I win matches for India consistently can I say that I am doing my best,” said Mandhana.

“You don’t quite know what your best is,” she said.

New Zealand lead the series 1-0. Mandhana mentioned that India will be up-pumped and put up a fight during the next matches.

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