Indian captain Smriti Mandhana lamented the expensive overs in the tail end of the England innings and regarded it as one of the major factors the hosts suffered a heavy 41-run loss in the first T20I in Guwahati.
A half-century from Tammy Beaumont, supported by opening partner Danielle Wyatt’s 37 and backed by a quick-fire 20-ball 40 from Heather Knight allowed England to post a competitive 160/4 after being asked to bat first. India never looked like challenging the target and ended up managing just 119 runs for the loss of six wickets in the run-chase.
“We gave away 10-15 extra runs at the end,” Mandhana said at the post-match presentation. “We didn’t have a great start with the bat. We’ve had those earlier. I’m very happy with the way Aru (Arundhati Reddy), Shikha (Pandey) and Deepti (Sharma) batted at the end. That is a big positive for us.
“We discussed to play according to the merit of the ball. Complicating things doesn’t work for any batter. Message was clear – if you think you can go for that shot, go for it."
When asked about whether England’s previous record put extra pressure on the players, the skipper pointed out that they did not try to focus on previous clashes with the 2018 T20 World Cup semi-finalists.
“I don’t think anyone has gone back and seen the stats. Every day we come out to win the match, what has happened previously doesn’t really matter. Hopefully, we’ll put up a better show in the coming two matches.”
England captain Heather Knight identified their strong showing in the final ODI in Mumbai for the side gaining confidence and putting in a great performance in opening T20I.
“Felt like we had a break in the last ODI where the girls showed great character to win the game,” Knight said. “The ball was coming on nicely. Tammy (Beaumont) was going well at the other end. I was seeing the ball quite nicely.
“I’m delighted to contribute to the team win but the most important thing is the team’s performance. (Linsey) Smith was brilliant the way she started off, picking a couple of wickets.”
Beaumont, apart from her 57-ball 62, had to don the gloves in the absence of Amy Ellen Jones who pulled up sick in the morning. She credited the backing she received from her fellow batters for being able to play freely.
“Love batting with Wyatt. She always gets off to a great start. Great to get a 90-run partnership with her. Then Heather coming in at the end, she was exceptional to get us up to 160.
“India bowled well in the ODIs and I was disappointed with how it went. Was nice to get a score and go 1-0 up in the series," she signed off.