After repeated failures of the unpredictable middle order of India that impairs team performance, first-order hitter Smriti Mandhan has called for a much-needed improvement.
Smriti Mandhana, India's first-order hitter. (Twitter photo)
- Smriti Mandhana said the middle order of India can definitely improve
- The middle order of India has been unpredictable and its repeated failures have harmed them.
- India will begin its T20 World Cup campaign with a clash against Australia
The first fit starter, Smriti Mandhana, believes that the top four in India must fight hard to protect the inconsistent middle order during the ICC Women's World Cup T20 that begins in Australia on February 21.
The middle order of India has been unpredictable and its repeated failures have harmed them.
In the 2017 World Cup final, India had lost seven wickets for 28 races to go to England for nine races, while in the recent triple series final against Australia, they collapsed to 144 after being 115 for three in a stage while chasing 155.
"The middle order could definitely improve," said Mandhana, who became the third Indian to reach 1,000 T20I races in the 2018 T20 Women's World Cup and was also the top scorer in the recent series of three in Australia.
"There are some things that we still have to solve with our batting and we are trying to do it. The best way to support the middle order is for the top order to hit 20 envelopes. I think we should try and hit a lot like one of the first four.
"We must try not to leave on 16 or 17 and the problem will be resolved if we can stay until 20," added the 23-year-old, who rose to number four in the ICC ranking on Friday.
India will begin its T20 World Cup campaign with a clash against four-time Australia champions on February 21.
While India lost to Australia in the final of the three series series, they also defeated the hosts in a crucial league game, in which Mandhana scored 55 and the young Shafali Verma threw 49 of 28 balls to help the team to chase 177 losing only three wickets.
Australia's head coach Matthew Mott believes that India has the most feared batting lineup in the T20 World Cup and Mandhana agrees that they have a balanced batting order.
"We can be very unpredictable in our day, but I would like to agree (with Mott)," he said.
"We have some great hitters and our order is very balanced. The first four or five are quite established. We have had the same first five over the past year and that has been a good thing for us," said Mandhana, quoted by the ICC.