Indian women's T20 vice-captain Smriti Mandhana has mentioned that the female cricketers long for more cricketing action in the near future after the conclusion of the Women's T20 Challenge in the UAE.
Smriti Mandhana was first asked about her excellent knock for the Trailblazers. She responded that her only intention was to find the gaps between the fielders, which she failed to do in her last knock.
"I was timing the ball well in the last match but unfortunately, I was finding all the fielders. So today it was a conscious effort to put it in the gaps and not to find the fielders."
The graceful left-hander pointed out that the Trailblazers were looking for a score around 130-140 but lost the plot in the middle of their innings.
"So that was the only thing I was thinking about. I knew the wicket is tough, so just tried to get to 130-140 but somewhere we lost the track."
Smriti Mandhana added that she was confident a run-a-ball target would not be easy to chase, considering the slow nature of the pitch and the quality spinners in the Trailblazers lineup.
"How much I batted, I thought the wicket is a bit tough to bat. So when I was batting, of course I was trying to look for 135-140, but at the back of my mind I knew that even if we get till 115 or 120, we still have a very good chance because we have a good quality bowling attack, especially spin."
Smriti Mandhana on the Trailblazers' excellent bowling and fielding efforts
Smriti Mandhana lauded the bowling and fielding performances dished out by her Trailblazers team while having a special word of praise for the energetic Nattakan Chantam, who was the first Thai player to feature in the tournament.
"It was an amazing bowling effort and especially fielding effort. Two or three brilliant fielding performances, especially Chantam, special mention to her, haven't really seen a girl field like that. It was amazing to watch."
Smriti Mandhana also appreciated Salma Khatun for her match-winning spell for the Trailblazers towards the latter stages of the game. The Bangladesh cricketer scalped three wickets, including the prized one of Harmanpreet Kaur.
"Salma Khatun was brilliant. Those kind of performances, those kind of spells win you the match. Those 4 overs, I think she bowled the 19th, 17th, 15th and the 13th over - those are always very crucial and the way she bowled, she got all her experience and she delivered."
Talking about the tournament, Smriti Mandhana mentioned that all the cricketers were delighted to be back on the field after a long layoff.
"Even last year we had a great time playing the Women's T20 challenge and this time, especially not playing any cricket for 7 months, so we all were looking to play some cricket, come together and meet everyone."
Smriti Mandhana signed off by hoping that the women cricketers would get an opportunity soon to display their wares on the cricketing field again.
"Hopefully we keep playing cricket as it keeps all of us happy."
The Indian women's cricket team was scheduled to travel to Sri Lanka, but the tour has been shelved for the moment due to the prevalent COVID-19 situation. Even the Women's World Cup that was supposed to be held in New Zealand next year has been pushed back by a year.