It feels good to be back, says Smriti Mandhana after first training session

Smriti Mandhana in action in the Women's T20 Challenge. © Sportzpics / IPL media

Trailblazers skipper Smriti Mandhana stated she is happy to be training after the long sabbatical due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Trailblazers and Velocity trained for the first time in Dubai ahead of the Women’s T20 Challenge which begins on November 4.

“It feels good to be back in the nets after probably six to seven months. I didn’t really expect to time the ball that well. It was much better than what I expected,” Mandhana said in the video shared by the Indian Premier League on Twitter.

The left-handed opener said that players were excited to return to training after a long break. “We had a good fielding session, good net session. Surprisingly, everyone is looking in good touch. We thought our first, second day would be a bit rusty. But yeah, all the bowlers and the batters were really looking in good touch.”

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Velocity captain Mithali Raj, on the other hand, was instructing her teammates to focus on their basics for the first couple of days in training. “We are not going to judge anybody because all of us are coming from a quarantine period. Let’s get our basics. First two days, tomorrow also we are looking at basics, once the flow comes, you can ease into it,” she told the players.

She also asked the players to keep themselves hydrated during the training and not to push themselves too hard in order to avoid injuries in the initial days. Velocity coach Suman Sharma too echoed Mithali saying the plan is to get the players acclimatised to the conditions before the tournament.

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“The girls are coming after a long time so the plan was to get used them to the environment and the weather, and also, they get the momentum of bowling, batting or fielding; just to get that touch and confidence to them,” she said. “Once they get used, we can do more work on the strategies, how we are going to play. The next sessions are going to be like that,” she concluded.

Velocity will be taking on the Supernovas in the tournament opener at Sharjah on November 4.

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