Team needs someone to bat through 20 overs: Smriti Mandhana

Vastavam web: Whitewashed by New Zealand women in the three-match T20 series, India opener Smriti Mandhana Sunday said her team needs to address its batting woes, especially after losing all the games from winning positions. India almost pulled off a dramatic win but failed to score a boundary in the final delivery to lose the third and final T20 by a mere two runs here.

Chasing 162, Mandhana took the Indian team on course for a consolation win with a career-best knock of 86 from 52 balls but the visiting side failed to build on her scintillating knock to end the innings at 159 for 4. “We need to address those (batting) issues as soon as possible. We need someone who can bat through 20 overs and someone who can go in at the middle overs and get runs later on,” she said. Mandhana returned as the highest run-getter in the T20 series, amassing 180 runs from three games at an average of 60, including two half-centuries.

But she didn’t get enough support from the other end and the left-hander rued her inability to get India home on Sunday. “I really wanted to finish the game for India. I have never been that animated ever. I badly wanted to do it today and help the team get over the line but unfortunately, I couldn’t,” the southpaw said. Mandhana was delighted to see the crowd response in the entire tour and hoped for same response from the fans of women’s cricket in future.