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‘She needs to be patient and focus on strike rotation’ – Punam Raut assesses Smriti Mandhana’s WPL form

Mar 16, 2023

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Smriti Mandhana (Photo Source: Twitter)

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have finally won a match in the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL). after defeating UP Warriorz by five wickets on March 15.

Punam Raut, the WPL expert for Sports18 and JioCinema, discussed Mandhana’s struggles in all matches RCB have played. The RCB skipper did not perform in the game against UP Warriorz as she was dismissed for a duck. Meanwhile, Raut suggested that the Indian vice-captain has to be more patient against the off-spinners. She added that it will not be difficult for a player like Mandhana.

“We know the kind of player Smriti Mandhana is, she doesn’t need to make big changes in her game. She has been struggling to play off-spinners and we have been saying that she needs to be more patient and rotate the strike in those situations. It’ll be better for her,” Raut said.

This is the one mistake she makes, always trying to attack off-spinners and we’re seeing the result of her getting out. I know it won’t be a major concern for Smriti because, from what I know of her, she doesn’t worry about stuff like this much. Making a comeback from here is in her hands and she knows how to do it. We want to see her score runs,” she added.

Another WPL expert, Reema Malhotra, was full of praise for Kanika Ahuja for playing a stunning knock to guide RCB to their first win. She scored a scintillating knock of 46 off 30, including one maximum and eight boundaries. She also emerged as the Player of the Match for her match-winning performance.

“The game I have seen from Kanika in domestic cricket has really been developing well. She’s still a youngster but the way she uses her footwork and plays in all areas, this is her strength,” Malhotra said. “Having a player like this in India is not common. We want more players like her to emerge, so selectors need to pay more attention to this. It’ll be good for Team India if she receives opportunities in the future,” she added.

Notably, RCB registered a win in the season season after five consecutive losses. The team has a slim chance to enter the knockout stage, however, they need to win all the remaining matches and get some other results in their favour.

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