LUCKNOW: India opening batter Smriti Mandhana on Thursday said that it is not as if she prefers chasing totals over batting first, but she did admit that it is easier to calculate an innings when there’s a target in front of her.
Mandhana on Tuesday not only propelled her team to a win with her impressive half-century but also became the first player to hit 50-plus scores in ten successive ODI chases. New Zealand’s Suzie Bates earlier held the record as she had scored nine consecutive 50-plus scores in chases.
Smriti had played an unbeaten knock of 80 runs against South Africa in the second ODI, helping India secure a commanding nine-wicket win in the match. She has scored more than 50 runs in every ODI chase starting from 2018.
“I got to know after the second ODI that I was the first one to achieve that feat. Whenever I go out to bat when we are chasing, I just have one target and it is to make India win the match. That is the only thing I think about, when there are runs on the board, it is easy to calculate your innings. It’s not as if I like batting first or batting second. It is not that I have only scored while chasing, I have scores while batting first also,” said Smriti while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference on Thursday.
“I like batting in any given situation, just finishing the match for India is something I am thinking about, no matter if you are batting first or second,” she added.
When asked whether Team India needs a mental conditioning coach going ahead, Smriti said: “Well at the moment we are all in good space, first of all, we are coming after a long gap and everyone is fresh. But definitely, a mental conditioning coach could be of use for a lot of girls, and definitely, BCCI is looking into it and we will have something going into the World Cup.”
While answering a question about Mithali Raj being on the cusp of scoring 10,000 international runs, Mandhana said: “Getting to 10,000 runs first or second is a huge thing. She is the first Indian to do that so I think it is something that shows how consistent she has been throughout her career. We have looked up to her, definitely a very proud feeling for all of us in the team.”
With the win in the second ODI, the hosts levelled the five-match series 1-1. India and South Africa will now lock horns in the third ODI on Friday at the same ground.