India Women star and Trailblazers captain Smriti Mandhana said that she has been working on her T20 game and looking to play more strokes ahead of the Women’s T20 Challenge 2022, starting on May 23 at the MCA Stadium in Pune.
Mandhana said during a virtual press conference: “Personally I have been working on my T20 cricket since we have a lot of T20s to play this year. So, trying to play a little bit more shots than I used to play. We had a good T20 domestic season, so just looking to continue with this tournament. I’m not thinking about how I will be going about it but I will just try to enjoy as much as I can.”
On Trailblazers’ opening match against Supernovas on May 23, Mandhana said: “We have our strategies ready; they have a good bowling unit, especially the spin line up with Sophie Ecclestone and Alana King.”
The skipper continued, “There is no pressure being defending champions, as it is a pretty short tournament. You always get a new team, so definitely not thinking about it and putting unnecessary pressure on ourself, but yeah it would be good to defend the title.”
Mandhana further lauded Shraddha Pokharkar – one of the new talents in Trailblazers squad Women’s T20 Challenge 2022.
She added, “I think three or four years back I saw Shraddha (Pokharkar), I always thought she has good potential and now when I saw her one month back, she was brilliant in nets.”
She signed off by saying, “She hits good length and she has a good height, so it is not easy to hit her length. She has a great slower one which is a really big weapon when you play T20, so looking forward to seeing how she progresses further.”
Meanwhile, Supernovas captain Harmanpreet Kaur said that the Women’s T20 Challenge 2022 will be a great platform for Manshi Joshi to have some game time and prove herself to earn her place back in the Indian women’s cricket team.
Harmanpreet said during a virtual press conference: “Last time, unfortunately, she didn’t get a chance to play but this time she did well in the domestic season and now in the net sessions also she was looking really nice. It is a great opportunity for her.”
She continued, “For a long time she was not part of the Indian side and now if she gets a chance, it is a great platform where you can perform and gates are open for the Indian team. I am actually very positive the way she is bowling at the net, I hope she will get a chance to play and prove herself.”
Harmanpreet signed off by saying on her team, “We do have a few new faces in our side and we try our best to bond though giving opportunities to all is not possible but still we will try to give as much as possible. We have a good team and I am really looking forward to a positive season.”
(With PTI Inputs)