India batter Smriti Mandhana has shared her thoughts on the India Women team’s collapse in the first innings of the ongoing one-off Test against England Women at County Ground in Bristol. Smriti, who had scored a valuable 78 off 155 deliveries, said her players need more Test exposure to understand the game better to save wickets, especially in the closing stages of every session.
In the first innings, Team India had a remarkable start as the pair of Smriti and Shafali Verma (96) formed a brilliant 167-run stand for the opening wicket. However, after losing both the openers, India lost the track, losing five wickets for 16 runs to finish Day 1 at 187/5. Then, in the following day, England bundled out the Mithali Raj-led side for 231 and enforced the follow-on.
“We can consider for sure that we aren’t used to batting beyond 50 overs that much. 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 yesterday (Thursday),” Smriti told ESPNcricinfo.
“But, definitely, I think a slight pressure of ending the day being not out, that might play a bit of a part (in the loss of wickets in a heap), and that will come with experience. 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 the pressure,” she added.
Smriti also showered praise on her opening partner Shafali for her phenomenal performance with the bat on debut Test. Shafali smashed 96 in the first innings and is unbeaten on 55 in the second essay.
“It’s quite impressive to watch her bat from the other end. I think 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 kind of maturity she showed at this stage of her career it’s very positive for Indian cricket going forward. Her shots, in T20Is, I’ve always watched them from the other end. It’s amazing what she does. I hope she keeps going the way she is,” Smriti added further.