Sanjay Manjrekar has lauded the Indian women's cricket team for their exploits at the recently-concluded Commonwealth Games 2022. He added that losing to the mighty Australian team in the final cannot be termed as choking.
The Women in Blue restricted the Aussies to 161/8 in the gold-medal clash of the quadrennial games on Sunday, August 7. They, however, went on to lose the match by nine runs and had to be content with a creditable silver medal.
During an interaction on the Sports 18 show 'Sports Over the Top', Manjrekar was asked if the Indian team's loss made it feel like they were the chokers or the South Africa of the women's game. He replied in the negative, saying:
"You guys are so hard. I usually think I am a bit harsh with my views and observations but you guys have taken a huge leap over me. Be nice please, because I think the Indian women's team have done tremendously well."
Manjrekar, on the flip side, believes the Indian women's team have been on an upward trajectory in recent times. The former Indian batter explained:
"If you look at women's cricket, Australia sit right there at the top, and then there was England, New Zealand and then India in the food chain. But in this Commonwealth Games and you have seen it in these last few months that India have taken a leap."
Manjrekar feels the Indian eves could become the outright second-best team after Australia if they rectify a few chinks in their armor. He said:
"They have beaten England in this Commonwealth championship, they ran Australia close twice. So a few little issues to be fixed and India could be the second-best team in the world."
Harmanpreet Kaur and Co. put it across England by four runs in the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games. They, however, came up short against Meg Lanning's side the two times they faced each other, both from seemingly winning positions.
"They should be really proud of their silver" - Sanjay Manjrekar
Manjrekar stated that the Indian women's team should be proud of their accomplishments at the Commonwealth Games. The cricketer-turned-analyst elaborated:
"I think they should be really proud of their silver because they beat England and they ran Australia very close and beating Australia is tough. So when you lose to Australia it's not choking, it's about Australia just being at the moment invincible."
Manjrekar concluded by observing that the Women's IPL will help the Indian team tick the unticked boxes. He pointed out that the tournament should give the selectors more options to choose from, especially for the middle-order batting positions and in the bowling department.
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