Mandhana: I have to bat till 20 overs to avoid another collapse

India failed to capitalise on Mandhana's fastest T20I fifty, going down by 23 runs in the first T20I.

Smriti Mandhana slammed a 34-ball 58 in the first T20I against New Zealand Women.   -  GETTY IMAGES

The repeated failure of India’s middle-order has prompted India women's vice-captain Smriti Mandhana to believe that she needs to “practically bat for 18 to 20 overs” in order to keep the team in the hunt during stiff chases.

Mandhana's 34-ball 58 failed to take India over the line. “My wicket along with Jemimah’s turned out to be crucial. If you get out back-to-back in T20, it proves costly. When you are chasing 160 and the run-rate is above 7 or 8, next time we have to plan and play better. It didn’t work out today,” Mandhana said after the match.

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“Practically, I would say I have to bat till 20 overs, that is the best option. The more I bat till 18 overs, we won’t collapse because if the top three or four batters can bat till the 18-20th overs then rest can revolve around them, so tactically that is what I will try to do,” she added.

'It was chaseable'

Mandhana hammered the fastest T20I fifty by an Indian batswoman. Asked if it was her best knock, she responded: “You never know what your best is. I can’t limit myself to a 60 and say it is my best. If I can chase my total and if win matches for India, then only it would be my best.”

Mandhana said though they conceded a few runs in the end, the team should have chased down the total.

“We almost got our run-rate under 7, which was great but definitely we gave away 10-15 runs extra in the end while bowling. We had got (Suzie) Bates and (Sophie) Devine and we don’t want the middle order to score but the wicket was good and batsmen should have chased the target,” she said.

Pressure on India

“The way we played the ODI series, even today we were cruising till the 12th over but in T20 there is always a chance of a collapse. So next time we have to keep that in mind as a batting unit.

“You have to select the areas. Today when we had got the run-rate under 7, I know it was a bad shot to play because I had only got a boundary, so all these things we will be thinking as a unit.”

Down 0-1 in the three-T20I series, Mandhana said the team will be under pressure.

“Being 1-0 down, we will be under the pump, everyone will be aiming to be better than what we were today and win the next two matches for India, that is what were are thinking and not what happened today.”