Star India opener Smriti Mandhana on Sunday said she has been working on her T20 game and looking to play more strokes, keeping in mind the number of shortest format matches scheduled in the next 12 months. “Personally I have been working on my T20 cricket since we have lot of T20s to play this year. So, trying to play little bit more shots then I used to playing,” she said.
Mandhana will be leading the defending champions Trailblazers at the Women’s T20 Challenge, scheduled to be held from May 23 to 28 at the MCA Stadium in Pune. “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,” she said.
Talking about her side’s opening match against Supernovas on Monday, Mandhana said the spin duo of Sophie Ecclestone and Alana King will pose a challenge but they have their own plans in place. “…We have our strategies ready, they have a good bowling unit especially the spin line up with Sophie (Ecclestone) and (Alana) King.”
Asked if there is any pressure going into the tournament as the defending champions, Mandhana said: “Not really, 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.”
Supernovas captain Harmanpreet Kaur feels the Women’s T20 Challenge will serve as a good platform for seamer Manshi Joshi to prove herself and earn her place back in the Indian team. The 28-year-old Joshi from Punjab, who had missed the 2020 edition of the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19, has last played for India in March last year.
“Last time, unfortunately, she didn’t get a chance to play but this time she did well in domestic season and now in the net sessions also she was looking really nice. It is a great opportunity for her,” Harmanpreet said during a virtual press-conference. Harmanpreet said Supernovas have a very ‘balanced’ side.
Trailblazers vs Supernovas, Match No. 1
Venue: MCA Stadium, Pune
Date & Time: May 23rd at 7:30 PM IST
Live Streaming: Star Sports Network, Star Gold and Disney+Hotstar
TRL vs SPN Dream 11 Prediction
Wicketkeeper: Taniya Bhatia
Batters: Smriti Mandhana, Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews, Renuka Singh
All-rounders: Harmanpreet Kaur
Bowlers: Poonam Yadav, Pooja Vastrakar, Priya Punia, Rashi Kanojia, S. Meghana
Captain: Smriti Mandhana
Vice-Captain: Harmanpreet Kaur
TRL vs SPN Probable Playing XI
Trailblazers: Smriti Mandhana (C), Poonam Yadav (VC), Arundhati Reddy, Hayley Matthews, Jemimah Rodrigues, Priyanka Priyadarshini, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Renuka Singh, Richa Ghosh, S Meghana, Saiqa Ishaque, Salma Khatun, Sharmin Akter, Sophia Brown, Sujata Mallik, SB Pokharkar
Supernovas: Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Taniya Bhatia (VC), Alana King, Ayush Soni, Chandu V, Deandra Dottin, Harleen Deol, Meghna Singh, Monica Patel, Muskan Malik, Pooja Vastrakar, Priya Punia, Rashi Kanojia, Sophie Ecclestone, Suné Luus, Mansi Joshi