The WPL’s (Women’s Premier League) most expensive buy Smriti Mandhana may be going through a lean patch with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) making a horror start, but Ellyse Perry backed her skipper, saying she just needs a chance to “find her feet” in the T20 competition.
Mandhana, who was bought for Rs. 3.4 crore in the inaugural WPL Auction, scored 35, 23, 18 and 4 as RCB suffered four straight losses in the tournament.
“Knowing Smriti and how proud and responsible she is for her own game, there’s probably no more pressure on her than what she is putting on herself,” Perry said after RCB endured its fourth loss on the trot with a 10-wicket hammering by UP Warriorz here on Friday.
The Indian team vice-captain is leading a star-studded RCB side with the likes of Perry, Sophie Devine and Heather Knight playing under her.
Perry, the six-time T20 World Cup winner, hoped the Indian would overcome this phase and come out with a “better version” of herself.
“It’s a ginormous task to come into a brand new competition and play with a group of players that she has never played with before and try and make that all gel in a matter of a couple of days since she joined the group,” the 32-year-old said.
“I think she’s a great captain too. She just needs a chance to find her feet in the tournament and she will no doubt. But the bigger picture (is), it’s just going to mean we are going to see an even better version of Smriti after this. There’s so much that she has learned from this competition already, both as a captain and as a batter, to make her even better in the future. She’s only a youngster right.”
Smriti, on the other hand, has taken the blame for her team’s poor show.
“In the last four games, it’s been happening. We start well and then lose a cluster of wickets. I take the blame as well,” Smriti said.
“Need to get runs on the board for the bowlers to defend. Overs 7-15 we spoke about getting 7-8 per over. We’re trying to get a balanced team. Let’s see how it goes.”
Bottom-placed RCB will next face Delhi Capitals at the DY Patil Stadium on Monday.
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