Indian star opening batsman Smriti Mandhana believes playing against Australia brings out the competitiveness in the Indian team as they are one of the best teams in the world. The women’s team is touring down under for a full-fledged white-ball series starting on September 21.
Ahead of the important series, Smriti Mandhana stated that the team has improved over the last couple of years. They faced off against England away earlier this year and fought tooth and nail before going down. Nevertheless, the experience from that defeat might strengthen the side.
“The team has grown massively (since the T20 World Cup). We all love playing against Australia because they are one of the best teams in the world and quite competitive.”
“When it comes to Australia, you’re a bit more pumped because of the level of competitiveness of the Australian team, it just rubs off on us and we also start being extra competitive,” Mandhana was quoted as saying to Scoop Podcast.
Smriti Mandhana feels the team has improved its fitness standards
The tour of Australia will be quite long as it comprises 3 ODIs, a one-off pink-ball Test, and 3 T20Is. It is likely to take a toll on the players but Mandhana expressed confidence about the improved fitness standards in the team. The women’s team has played quite a lot of fixtures in 2021 and that should help them get into a rhythm quickly, as per Mandhana.
“COVID was a big break after the T20 World Cup and a lot of girls had a chance to go back and understand more about their games, where they lack as an individual and come back stronger. The whole team has worked on their fitness and skills.”
“We are still getting into a rhythm of playing matches continuously but the last five, six months we have been playing cricket and now we are getting back into the match mindset. Hopefully, the series goes well for the whole team,” she concluded.
The three ODIs are the first on the agenda and will be played on September 21, 24, and 26. The one-off Test will then be played in Carrara from September 30 – October 3. Finally, the T20Is will be held on October 7, 9, and 11.