WT20: Mandhana has a solution for India's middle order woes
The Indian women's cricket team is preparing for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in Australia, starting February 21. One major challenge for India is their middle order. If the top order fails, then besides Harmanpreet Kaur, the batting could get really exposed. Opening batswoman Smriti Mandhana has opened up regarding the same. Here's more.
Mandhana will lead India's challenge in the top order
The left-handed Mandhana is the star of Indian batting line-up. She was the highest run-scorer in the recently-concluded T20I tri-series between India, England and Australia. Therefore, it is natural that the onus will be on her in the upcoming World T20 to lead India's challenge. Besides her, the top order consists of teenagers Shafali Verma and Jemimah Rodrigues.
India's middle order is an issue
India's middle order is a worry. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur is the ideal player at number four. She has bags of experience and is a T20I stalwart. However, following her, the problems arise. India are struggling in this department. Wicket-keeper batswoman Taniya Bhatia doesn't boast of a solid record. Also, the responsibility then falls on all-rounder Deepti Sharma. Other options present are inexperienced as well.
Middle order has failed to provide much comfort
The middle order has failed to live up to expectations of late. In the 2017 World Cup and the 2018 World T20, the middle order collapses led to India losing in the final and semi-final respectively. The pattern was repeated in the 11-run defeat to Australia in the final of the T20I tri-series as well. India saw five wickets falling for 12 runs.
Mandhana on what could support the middle order
Mandhana believes that the top four should take responsibility to bat 20 overs. "The best way to support the middle order is for the top order to bat 20 overs," she was quoted by the ICC. "I think we need to try and bat long as a top four. The problem will be sorted if we can stay until the 20th over."
The middle order could definitely improve, says Mandhana
"The middle order could definitely improve. There are some things we still have to figure out with our batting and we are trying hard to do that," the Indian team's vice-captain added.