Indian batter Smriti Mandhana, expressed disappointment at not scoring a One-Day International century against England Women in India’s opening match victory here, adding it would have been fantastic to finish the game unbroken.
In order to start the ODI series on a winning note, Mandhana, who was named “Player of the Match” for her outstanding 91 off 99 balls as India defeated the hosts’ 227/7 in 44.2 overs for the loss of just three wickets, claimed that batting in the 50-over format came naturally to her while in T20Is she had to “put effort” into maintaining the strike rate.
“I would’ve enjoyed it better with a not-out at the end. Thanks to the supporters for coming out, happy to put out a show for them,” said Mandhana.
“ODIs are natural for me, T20s I have to put effort to take care of the strike rate. In ODIs I can just react. But I’m happy to lay the platform,” said Mandhana, adding that winning the toss and electing to field first was the right decision taken by skipper Harmanpreet Kaur.
“I’m happy that Harman won the toss. I saw the pitch in the first innings and told myself to cut down on the back-foot play. But (I) didn’t hold back too much. I want to say that this series for Jhulu di (Jhulan Goswani), her bowling was amazing. All our efforts in this series will be for Jhulu di.”
The last match of the three-match ODI series here will be Jhulan’s last for India.
Harmanpreet also added that winning the toss was important, given the conditions.
“We’re happy with the support and the win. All of us showed the character which we discussed in team meetings. It was a crucial toss, the partnership between Jhulan and Meghna (Singh in bowling) was great. Credit to all the bowlers as they chipped through,” said Harmanpreet.
On Deepti Sharma’s incisive bowling (2/33 off 10 overs), the skipper said, “She is a very smart cricketer, she was doing exactly what was asked of her. The partnership between Smriti and Yastika (Bhatia) was great; we hope to continue the momentum. I want to give it all for the team, happy with the runs and with the stand alongside Smriti.”
(inputs from IANS)