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Home > Sports News > Cricket News > Article > Vastrakar will be crucial for India in T20 World Cup Smriti Mandhana

"Vastrakar will be crucial for India in T20 World Cup": Smriti Mandhana

Updated on: 10 July,2024 10:14 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Smriti Mandhana was in awe of Vastrakar's bowling, which helped India restrict South Africa Women to 84. Shafali Varma also shone in the series as the batswoman finished among the top three run-scorers for India

Smriti Mandhana (Pic: File Pic)

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Pooja Vastrakar's bowling in the T20I series against South Africa has given Team India's vice-captain Smriti Mandhana confidence that the pacer would continue her momentum in the upcoming Women's T20 World Cup in Bangladesh. 


Pooja Vastrakar claimed eight wickets by registering the best figures of four wickets for 13 runs in the final game. With the help of her spell, India defeated South Africa by 10 wickets to level the three-match series. The second T20I between India and South Africa was washed out but South Africa played the full 20 overs and Vastrakar grabbed two wickets.


Smriti Mandhana was in awe of Vastrakar's bowling, which helped India restrict South Africa Women to 84. "In the first two matches, the wickets were flat, and for her to come with such figures is amazing. We hope she keeps doing the same things and will be crucial for us in the World Cup," Mandhana told reporters on Tuesday.


"She is brilliant with the ball. It's been a long series for all of us, and being a bowler, I wonder how has she done that (carried on without getting tired)?"

Also Read: "The wicket was double paced...": Shubman Gill

Besides the T20Is, India also played a one-off Test and three ODIs against South Africa. Mandhana also recalled Vastrakar's performance in the five-match T20I series in Bangladesh in April-May, where she took five wickets the joint second-highest number of scalps.

"Even during the Bangladesh T20I series, the way she bowled, especially during the death overs, I struggled to see the ball when she was running in so quickly," added Mandhana.

"We knew she had made a difference about how she has been bowling in the last few months. Coming into the series, we were confident of her."

Following the success against the Proteas, Smriti Mandhana credited the pre-series camp at the National Cricket Academy. "A lot of effort was put in during the batters' camp that we had at the NCA before the series. The number of hours in the camp with the bat helps you.

"Throughout the series, all the players were ready to play and bat across formats, having practiced those scenarios in the camp. I believe in working hard when no one's watching, and that helped me and the team perform well in this series."

Shafali Varma also shone in the series as the batswoman finished among the top three run-scorers for India. "Shafali bats the best when she doesn't think a lot. You don't give a batter like her a lot of information. The only conversation (I have) from the non-striker's end is when she wants to hurry up, and all I say is 'stay'. As a senior player, my job is to guide her about the bowler, and she adapts.

"Initially, in her career, she was aggressive, but now, she knows which bowler to target. I'm sure, doing this a lot more will help."

Mandhana was not in favour of too much shuffling in the batting order in the T20 Asia Cup in Sri Lanka later this month.

"We will have a similar set of conditions during the Asia Cup. But, I think it's a good problem to have since, for a few years, we have wanted to have a few players who can go out and win the matches for us.

"Also, the confidence that the WPL has given has got them in that space. But it's a calculated big call that we have thought about. It's a lot to do with what we feel that can win us a lot of matches rather than just one or two. I won't say that there would be a lot of shuffling."

(With PTI Inputs)

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