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WWT20: ‘Our Mindset is to Dominate’ – Mandhana Ready for Australia Clash

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: November 16, 2018, 4:55 PM IST

Although a semifinal spot is now secure, Indian opener Smriti Mandhana insists the team is keen on keeping up the intensity that has earned them three straight wins at the World T20 so far.

India play powerhouses Australia in their final group game to determine who will top the group, and Mandhana believes the team will enter the game with a mindset to “dominate.”

"I think we will be looking at it as a match only and not just like we need to be on the top of the table of this group," Mandhana said. "That's what our mindset will be, and to go all out. Before coming into the World T20, Ramesh (Powar, the coach) had told us that you have to dominate each and every match, so that is the only mindset which we had the last three matches, and I don't think it will change in the next match.”

Mandhana, who scored 33 in the victory against Ireland and added 67 for the first wicket with Mithali Raj, is hoping to build on the encouraging form towards the latter stages of the tournament. She was dismissed cheaply in the first two games against New Zealand and Pakistan but appeared to find her rhythm against Ireland. However, she admitted that India allowed a strong start to fritter away, scoring just 145.

"The first two matches I definitely felt we were good, but today I felt batting could have been better," she said. "But bowling and fielding I think we are really good, and we dominated the opposition.

"I didn't think that 140 was good enough because in T20s you can't keep thinking about the wicket and the outfield because it's such a fast game," she said. "So I think we were aiming at 165 to 170, but unfortunately we could not do that.

"It's fun batting with her (Mithali Raj). But I think both have different mindsets to go about their game, and we just discussed about the wicket and the bowlers, and yeah, we just give enough freedom to each other.”

Mandhana also said that the failure at the Asia Cup earlier in the year, when India failed to make the final and were beaten twice by Bangladesh had acted as motivation coming into the tournament.

"It means a lot because after the Asia Cup final, a lot of things happened back home," Mandhana said. "Everyone had actually thought that we wouldn't even make it to the semi-finals because we did not even win the Asia Cup.

"But I guess everyone was motivated enough after the Asia Cup that this time, this is the time everyone will be watching, and we have to prove our point because in 2017 we qualified for the final, but only it cannot happen just once.

"We are such a good team, we have such good youngsters that we need to step up our game every match, and this World Cup was ... we needed to go to the semi-finals, and all 15 of us actually went back after Asia Cup, worked hard on whatever they felt we lacked in the team."

Captain Harmanpreet Kaur, while pleased with the 52-run win, said there are still some improvements to be made.

“I’m happy that we have qualified for the semis, but there are still a few things that we need to sit down and talk about. It’s a short format,” Kaur said.

“We have to be aggressive on the field, and improvements need to be made. We need to improve across the batting and bowling departments. We did not bat according to our plan today.”

Mithali Raj, who was the player of the match for her knock of 51 off 56 balls at the top of the order, spoke about how the mentality of the team has changed with a consistent run over the last few games.

“There are a lot of young girls in the team and they want to change the approach in T20s,” Raj said. “I definitely want them to win the World Cup.

“The wicket was quite challenging. It was slow and soft. My partnership with Smriti was very crucial. Hopefully we will get a better wicket in the next game. When someone is going through a lean patch it's important to remain positive, I'm sure she (Smriti) will get better with every game.”

First Published: November 16, 2018, 1:07 AM IST

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