Shiv Sundar Das, coach of India’s women cricketers, has stepped up to support opener Smriti Mandhana, confident that she will peak from the current form sooner than later. Das said that Smriti Mandhana is ‘world-class’.
Mandhana has struggled to perform and scored only 16 in the first ODI. In the last nine games, she has crossed the 50-run mark just once. However, Das is confident that she will deliver in the second ODI match against Australia on Friday in McKay.
The country lost its first ODI match by nine wickets against Australia, held at Harrup Park in McKay. India scored 225 for 8 in 50 overs. However, Australia hit the target in just 41 overs.
Das said that she had a chat with Mandhana. She said, “We have addressed the issues, she is a world-class player, and we are backing her ability to get runs for us, and definitely, we will see the difference in tomorrow’s game.”
Mithali Raj has been carrying the burden to score for India as the top-order collapsed in the recent past. Although the Indian captain added 63 runs to the scoreboard in 107 balls, her inability to add quick scores has also disadvantaged the country.
Das has claimed that they will have a different approach to the game from the 2nd ODI, and the team has been working hard in the practice sessions. The coach expects the top-order to kick start the game. Das added, “We have Shafali [Verma] and Smriti. I am positive they will give a good start.” According to Das, once the team adds 60 to 70 runs in the initial ten overs, the team can carry forward the momentum.
The batting coach said that the issues in the first ten overs were addressed, and they should focus on the middle overs. Commenting on the young players, Das said, “Once they get used to the conditions, they will definitely fire.”