HomeCricketNews"Its always fun to bat with Shafali", Smriti Mandhana

“Its always fun to bat with Shafali”, Smriti Mandhana

Indian Women’s Cricket team opening batter Smriti Mandhana opens on the understanding she has with her opening partner Shafali Verma says “It’s always fun to bat with her“.

Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana began to open together in T20Is from 2019 and turned out to be the most successful opening pair for the Indian Women’s Cricket team. The duo added 2079 runs at an average of 31.98 in 66 T20Is while opening for India.

In the ODI format, the duo started to open the inning from 2021 and have already added 767 runs in 19 matches with an average of 34.86 and are on course to become the country’s most successful opening pair in this format as well.

In the ongoing India Women tour of Bangladesh 2024 series, the pair added 118 runs in the four matches they have played so far.

“I am really happy and its always fun to bat with Shafali. I think in the last two and a half years we have got a better understanding of which bowlers she would target and which bowler I can and how do we go about batting together,” Mandhana told T-sports.

“I think in the last two and a half years there is a better understanding in terms of knowing which role to play. Sometimes she also plays the second fiddle when I go and most of time she goes and I try to give her strike,” she said.

“I think that understanding has come and it’s just going to grow and we start to understand each other better we will be able to give better platform for India to launch specially going into the World Cup and I really hope we both can again” she said.

Mandhana added that she is happy to win all the games so far in the series while noting that they are happy to adapt with the conditions ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup, scheduled in Bangladesh from September to October.

“After a good WPL, I really wanted to come here and all of us bonding together so really really happy with the way (things are going). I think the bowlers have bowled and the fielding have been a little up and down and the batting have been really good so really happy. We have come here with a plan and an aim for the team for the preparation for the World Cup,” she said.

Mandhana said that the WPL is a brilliant platform to bolster the bench strength of the Indian women’s team.

“I think it’s a great competition, it’s been two years and the kind of talent more than anything it’s something big for women’s cricket in India plus we have been getting lot of bench strength and lot of talents out of WPL and there is almost five, six players ready for international cricket which is great and that is all we want. WPL is like a stepping stone before coming into international cricket,” she added.

Mandhana, one of the leading run scorers of India across formats, added that success lies on being a good student of the game.

“I think as a player the secret is not having a secret,” said Mandhana. “It’s just maybe being a good student of the game and the game has changed and being part of the international circuit for 10 years and the game has changed massively.

I’m just trying to be a good student and knowing where to play, how to play and what to play and its very important keeping the basics simple and doing same thing each day again and again and that’s the only thing which I follow and I think you do your things right and (the rest) will take care of itself,” she concluded.

India have already sealed the series victory by winning the first four matches of the series. The 5th and final T20I of the series will be played on May 9 in Sylhet International Cricket Stadium, Sylhet.

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