Star India opener Smriti Mandana said on Sunday that she is working on her T20 game and is looking to play more strikes, considering the number of shorter format matches scheduled for the next 12 months. “Personally, I have been working on T20 cricket since we have a lot of T20s to play this year. So, I tried to play more shots then I used to.”
Defending champion Mandana will lead the Trail Blazers in the Women’s T20 Challenge, scheduled for May 23-28 at the MCA stadium here. “We’ve had a good domestic T20 season so we’re just looking forward to continuing this tournament. I’m not thinking about how I’m going to go about it, but I will just try to enjoy as much as I can,” she said.
Speaking about her team’s opening game against the Supernova on Monday, Mandana said the spin-off duo of Sophie Ecclestone and Alana King will be a challenge but they have their own plans. “…we have our strategies ready, and they have a really good bowling unit especially on the spin line with Sophie (Ecclestone) and (Alana) King.” Asked if there was any pressure in the tournament as the defending champion, Mandana said: “Not really, it’s a very short tournament.
You always get a new team, so definitely don’t think about it and unnecessary pressure on ourselves, but yes it would be good to defend the title.” Mandana was also impulsive in her praise of little-known Maharashtrian skill Shraddha Pokharkar, who is one of the new talents on her team.” I think three or four years ago I saw Shraddha (Pokharkar), I always thought she had good potential and now when I saw her a month ago, she was great in the net.
“She hits good length and has good length, so it’s not easy to hit with length. She has a much slower gun and it’s a really big gun when you play T20, so we look forward to seeing how she progresses further.” Good platform for Mansi to return to Team India: Harmanpreet captain feels Harmanpreet Kaur That the women’s T20 challenge would be a good platform for seamstress Manshi Joshi to prove herself and reclaim her place in the Indian team.
The 28-year-old Joshi from Punjab, who missed the 2020 edition of the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19, played for India in March last year.
Joshi played three WODIs against South Africa at home but did not find a place in the series against England and Australia and also missed a place in India’s World Cup squad. “Last time, unfortunately, she didn’t get a chance to play but this time she did well in the domestic season and now in the network sessions too she looked really great. It’s a great opportunity for her,” Harmanpreet said during a virtual press conference.
“For a long time you have not been a part of the Indian side and now if you have a chance it is a great platform where you can perform and the gates are open for the Indian team. “I am actually very positive with the way you play bowling in the net and I hope you get a chance to play and prove yourself.” Harmannbrett said the supernova has a very “balanced” side.
“We have a few new faces on our side and we are doing our best to bond and while it’s not possible for everyone to give chances, we will try to do as much as we can.
“We have a good team and I’m really looking forward to a positive season.” Australian Anglo-Indian wheelman Alan King will be part of the supernova and Harmanpreet said she had discussed her plans for the tournament with her.
“I discussed with her her plans for bowling, as she is comfortable bowling. She did well during the World Cup and even before that.” It is very positive to have someone like her and I am very happy that she is open to ideas. She is willing to sit before and after hard play, so it gave me a lot of confidence. I can use it wherever the team asks for it.”