Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Not in a position to think about declaration just yet - Mandhana. 'The individual feats will happen, but the kind of position the team is in - I'm happy with that more'
'The individual feats will happen, but the kind of position the team is in - I'm happy with that more'
India vice-captain Smriti Mandhana has all but ruled out an aggressive start to Day 3 when India resume their first innings of the one-off day-night Test against Australia on 276/5, or an overnight declaration, stating that her side would want to take stock of the conditions in the middle first.
Only 101.5 overs have been sent down so far in the only Test of the multi-format series that has seen thunderstorms washing away the second-half of play on both days. Asked what would the visitors' approach be with only two scheduled days left in the tank and four series points on the line, Mandhana said India aren't in a position to shift gears just yet with two two relatively new batters out in the middle when the play was stopped on Day 2.
“Well actually it's very difficult to plan because the rain has played such an important factor today and yesterday,” Mandhana said on the prospects of speeding up the game on Saturday.
“We've almost lost a day's play altogether off the four we have. And in the last [hour] we lost two wickets, so tomorrow morning we'll have to start stabilising the innings. Then, from there, we'll have a launchpad from where we can actually declare. So, I think tomorrow we'll have to stabilise to start with. If there were two set batters out there, we would have had a different plan maybe, but at the moment we'd look to stabilise initially and then maybe think when to launch [attack] or about declaration. But I don't think we're in the state yet to think about [the declaration].”
Australia currently are in the lead, at 4-2, with four points up for grabs in this Test which is the first between the two countries since early 2006.
On their pink-ball debut, India have been in control of the proceedings for most part of play across the two days, the foundation for which was laid down by Mandhana's maiden Test hundred. On Friday, the opener posted 127 to become the first Indian women cricketer with a century in Australia while also rewriting a 72-year-old record for the personal best effort from any visiting female Test cricketer. The southpaw unaware of the latter, said she was more satisfied having given her side a strong start to the contest for which they had only two days of dedicated preparation.
“You've told me know, so now I need to start thinking what it means to me,” the 25-year-old said of overhauling Molly Hide's 124, before breaking into a laughter. “But yeah, pretty special do something like breaking a 70-year old record – I don't think I've done something like that ever in my life. I am just more than happy that I could actually give that kind of foundation for the team. The individual feats will happen, but the kind of position the team is in – I'm happy with that more.”
This comes after having her form questioned in the lead up to the second ODI, where she then hit a aggressive 86 and fell agonisingly short of her second 50-overs hundred on Australian soil. She nearly missed out on a century again on Friday, driving a full toss from Ellyse Perry straight to point on her overnight score of 80.
Mandhana said she'd spent the 14 days of India's hard quarantine in Australia trying to visualise her batting and post-hundred celebrations. So when she was caught off the second ball of the day, having done neither of the above, quite naturally she ‘hated' herself. But while she waited for the umpires to check if Beth Mooney's stunning diving effort was a clean one, the visuals of Perry overstepping came as a pleasant surprise.
“I actually get scared of bad balls quite a lot. So when that happened second ball of the day, I was like ‘oh shit'. I was like I'd prepared so much overnight and now gotten out to a full toss. For us, we thought the catch wasn't [cleanly] taken, so we were waiting [to hear] on that but the no-ball ruling came out of the blue.”
Did a familiar mistake so early in the day – Mandhana was twice dismissed caught at point/backward point in the preceding ODIs – leave any scars? “Of course that shot was not something I wanted to start my day with. But I was quite clear in my head when I came into bat that it didn't affect me much. I was quite determined to do what I wanted to do.”