The in-form opener of India, Smriti Mandhana recently said that India’s top four need to bat as long as they can so that there will be no pressure on the inconsistent middle-order during the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. The mega event is all set to begin in Australia on February 21. India’s middle-order woes remain the same and its repeated failures have cost them many times as well.
In the 2017 World Cup final, India had lost seven wickets for just 28 runs and lost the title to England by nine runs, while in the recently-concluded tri-series final against Australia, they crumbled within 144 after being 115 for three at one stage while chasing a modest total of 155.
“The middle order could definitely improve,” said Mandhana,
who became the third Indian player to reach 1,000 T20I runs at the 2018 Women’s T20 World Cup and was also the leading run-scorer in the tri-series in Australia as well.
“There are some things we still have to figure out with our batting and we are trying hard to do that. The best way to support the middle order is for the top order to bat 20 overs. I think we need to try and bat long as a top four. We must try not to get out in the 16th or 17th over and the problem will be sorted if we can stay until the 20th over,” added the flamboyant opener.
India will begin their campaign in the T20 World Cup against four-time champions and also the defending champion Australia on February 21. While India lost to them in the tri-series final, they had defeated them in an important league game where Mandhana scored 55 and Shafali Verma hit 49 from 28 balls to help India chase down 177.
However, Australia head coach Matthew Mott believes India has the most balanced batting order at the T20 World Cup and Mandhana too agree on that.
“We can be very unpredictable on our day, but I’d like to agree (with Mott). We have some great batters and our order is very balanced. The top four or five are quite settled. We’ve had the same top five for the last year and that’s been a good thing for us,” Smriti Mandhana was quoted as saying by the ICC.