Indian cricketer Smriti Mandhana has said that it is fun to partner with Shafali Verma at the top. Since Shafali’s debut in September 2019, the duo has scored 790 runs in 22 innings at an average of 37.61, the most by an opening combination in T20Is.
“It’s been about a year and a half since Shaifu (Shafali) and I started opening together in the T20I format. In this tour I also opened with her in the one-dayers and the Test. It’s a lot of fun to be involved in partnerships with her," said Smriti in the pre-match press conference, ahead of the deciding T20I later on Wednesday.
The T20I vice-captain is hoping for a long stand between her and Shafali in the deciding match. In this series, the pair has had stands of 0 and 70 which have not gone beyond the first 10 overs.
“We know what exactly to tell each other, so that helps quite a bit, especially in the T20I format. The one thing we need to work on as an opening combination is to carry on till at least the 15th or the 16th over. That will be good for our team. We will be working on that."
Smriti mentioned about losing wickets in a heap, an aspect which India will be looking to improve upon from their win at Hove on Sunday, which helped them level the series 1-1.
“We have had a discussion about the middle overs and also the death overs about how we can get better. Definitely one point is that we are losing out two wickets at a time. That really puts a brake on our run rate. That’s something we have to work on as a team."
The left-hander added, “That happened in the previous formats as well and it’s happening in the T20I also, that we are getting out back-to-back. That puts pressure on two new batters. That’s a communication thing we need to get better as a batting unit. We have all definitely understood our mistakes, and hopefully we’ll better our mistakes in tomorrow’s game."