More experience will help avoid session-end dismissals, says Indian cricketer Smriti Mandhana

Bristol, Jun 19 Lack of experience in negotiating the closing stages of a session was a major reason behind the batting collapse India suffered on the second day of the one-off Test against England Women, reckons opener Smriti Mandhana.

Madhana, a stylish left-hander, and young Shafali Verma had forged a solid 167-run stand with their half-centuries in India’s response to the massive England first innings total of 396/9 declared.

However, India lost five wickets in a hurry to lose the plot and were eventually forced to follow-on. “Definitely, a slight pressure of ending the day ‘not out’, might have played a part (in the loss of wickets in a heap) and that will come with experience,” Mandhana said after rain forced early stumps on day three.

“The more we play Test matches, the more we’ll get used to the conditions – one over before lunch or one over before the day’s end and all those sessions, so we can be more mature about (approaching them) and not take pressure.” However, she blamed her herself instead of inexperience, for her own dismissal.

“We aren’t used to batting beyond 50 overs. But I wouldn’t say I got out because of lack of experience in Test matches because I threw my wicket away in the last session of (Thursday),” she said.

Mandhana said the conditions were still good for batting and with talented batter Shafali Verma going strong, her side was in a good position.

India were 83 for 1 at stumps on the rain-interrupted third and penultimate day after following on, still trailing by 82 runs overall with nine second innings wickets in hand.

“The conditions changed slightly, it was just windy. It wasn’t swinging that much. It was good to bat on though the conditions were cloudy and overcast,” she added.

Verma and Deepti Sharma were batting on 55 and 18 respectively when the final session was washed out by rain. Mandhana scored just 8 runs in the second innings after a 78 in the first.

“I gave away my wicket though it was not such great a ball. I am disappointed.” Mandhana was all praise for young Shafali, who missed on a ton in the first innings by just 4 runs, saying it was impressive to watch her bat.

“We both are very similar (in our approach) to keep things simple, so we don’t really discuss much about batting in the middle.

“The way she changed her game and the maturity she showed, it is very positive for Indian cricket going forward. Her shots, in T20Is I’ve always watched them from the other end. I hope she keeps going the way she is.” Asked about the discussion in the team after being asked to follow on, she said “The transition was pretty quick. We just had 10-15 minutes before we went into bat.” “We did not bat that great in the first innings and the talk was that we have to make up for it in the second innings.” Mandhana said the Indian debutants, five of them, had a good start and that everyone contributed.

“All the debutants have really got a good start. In general, everyone was excited to play this Test match, and not just the debutants because we all are playing after a very long time, so it is a really special match.

“But all the debutants have really stepped up – Deepti, Shafali, Pooja and even Taniya with the catch in the first innings- everyone has contributed.” News source PTI


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