Smriti Mandhana defends her pacers

India T20I skipper Mandhana feels the new crop of bowlers would improve with time and exposure.

Smriti Mandhana at a practice session in Guwahati on Wednesday.   -  PTI


India’s T20I skipper Smriti Mandhana on Tuesday put her weight behind the team’s new seam bowlers, saying they will develop into match-winners with time and exposure.

While Shikha Pandey put up a reasonable show in the series-opener, conceding 18 runs in her four-over quota, Arundhati Reddy ended up bleeding 45 runs as India lost the match by 41 runs.

India is a spin-heavy attack but Mandhana said that does not mean there is no depth in the fast bowling unit. India had unleashed the spin-troika of Deepti Sharma, Radha Yadav and Poonam Yadav in the first match of the series.

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“I do not think we lack in the fast bowling department. Jhulan di has a lot of experience and it is unfair to expect a pace bowler to come in her second match and do the same thing Jhulan di does for us,” Mandhana told reporters on the eve of the second T20 against England.

“I think looking at the pace bowlers, I do not think depth is not there, we just have to give them enough chances and I am sure they will produce match-winning performances.”

Mandhana said she doesn’t regret electing to bowl first in the first match, despite the bowlers giving away too many runs.

“I thought the wicket was really nice to bat on and it did not change much. If the wicket is changing in the second innings, then we would think the decision to bowl first was wrong,” she said.

“Only in bowling, I thought we gave 10-15 runs extra, but saying that I thought 160 was gettable but none of the batters were able to stay on the wicket for a longer period.”

Mandhana also heaped praise on left-arm spinner Radha, who had snapped two wickets in the first match.

“Radha has done really well for us in the T20I format in the past year. She is young and gives us more as a batter as well in the middle-order,” said Mandhana, who was awarded the ICC cricketer of the year recently.

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