Indian women’s team star batter Smriti Mandhana on Thursday said it is “easier to calculate an innings” when a side is batting second with a target to achieve.
India are currently engaged in a five-match ODI series against South Africa and in the second match, Mandhana had scored an unbeaten 80 to help her side to a nine-wicket victory.
“Whenever I go out to bat, I just have one target, and that is to make India win the match. And that’s the only thing I keep thinking about,” Mandhana said during a pre-match press conference.
“When they (opponents) have runs on the board, it is easier to calculate your innings. Not that I like batting first or second.
“I like batting in any given conditions. Just to win the match for India is something I keep thinking about whether we are batting first or second,” she added.
With her knock in the previous match, Mandhana became the first player to score 10 consecutive 50s in ODI run chases but on the eve of the third ODI, the cricketer said she was not aware of it.
“I got to know after the second ODI that I was the first to achieve the feat…”
The win in the last match helped India level the series at 1-1 after losing the opener here.
Asked about her mindset while batting, she said she tries to keep things simple and not think too much.
“I don’t think much about pressure. Whenever I think before the match I end up not doing as good as I can. So I try to keep things simple and not allow too many thoughts…,” she added.
When asked if the Indian women’s team needed a mental conditioning coach going forward, Mandhana said it could definitely help.
“Well, at the moment the girls are in a very good space. First of all we have come back after a long break and everyone is fresh and want to play. But, definitely, a mental conditioning coach or a mentor will be good for a lot of the girls.
“And, definitely, the BCCI is looking into it and we will have something going into the World Cup,” she added.
About skipper Mithali Raj, who is on the cusp of scoring 10,000 international runs, Mandhana said, “Getting to 10,000 runs is a huge thing. She is the first Indian to do that I think and it 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.”
Asked if it was important to focus on singles at the start of an innings, she said as a batter one needs to be calculative.
“I think singles, doubles, fours, sixes all are important, as a batter it depends on which bowler you are facing. You have to be very calculative as a batter.
“I just try to play according to the ball. That’s the only mindset I have, nothing like I have to score singles, fours or sixes against anyone,” she said.