Happy to find little bit of nick before the World Cup : Smriti Mandhana
Queenstown : India opening batter Smriti Mandhana was happy in finding some form in the final ODI against New Zealand before the start of Women’s Cricket World Cup. On Thursday, Smriti made the most out of two reprieves to make a fine 71 off 84 balls laced with nine boundaries and set the base for India’s six-wicket win at the John Davies Oval.Apart from her, Harmanpreet Kaur made a crucial 63 and captain Mithali Raj was unbeaten on 57 to chase 252 with four overs to spare. “I think our bowlers did a fantastic job by restricting them to 250. The wicket was a good one to bat on and all the batting unit contributed amazingly – me, Harry (Harmanpreet) di and Mithali (Raj) di,” said Smriti, adjudged ‘Player of the Match’ in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Talking about her knock, Smriti, who missed one-off T20I and first three ODIs due to extended stay in Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ), remarked, “Initially first 10-15 balls was difficult, I forgot how to bat. The more time I spent on the wicket I got used to it. I’m happy that I found a little bit of nick before the World Cup.”Though India lost the five-match series 4-1, Smriti felt that the series served as good preparation for the visitors’ ahead of the World Cup. “This series was a big advantage to the whole team. Half of this team has been here before in 2019 and that will be a big advantage going into the World Cup. All the girls are feeling confident and we will take this momentum from the win into the World Cup.”India will now feature in the World Cup warm-up matches against West Indies and South Africa before opening their campaign against Pakistan on March 6.