Star opener Smriti Mandhana announced that the Indian team would like to draw motivation from their performance on the 2021 Tour of Australia ahead of the all-important clash against Meg Lanning’s side in Saturday’s ICC Women’s ODI World Cup match in Auckland.
In last year’s series, India lost 2-1 but ended Australia’s 26-game winning streak. India had also ended Australia’s chances at the 2017 World Cup by beating them in the semifinals.
India have two wins and as many defeats at the World Cup and face the mighty Australia after losing to England on Saturday.
“Everyone knows what happened in 2017. We also talked about our last tour of Australia. We did well against them and almost won the series. That’s the brand of cricket we want to play and that was our motivation,” she said in a virtual media interaction ahead of Saturday’s game.
The left-handed batsman continued: “The girls are really motivated and everyone is keen to get 2 points on board as they know the situation of the tournament and how important this game is. The team psychologist also helped in this regard. “
Mandhana said of batsman Harmanpreet Kaur’s fitness, “She is fit and available for tomorrow’s game.”
The India opener elaborated further on the 2021 tour of Australia, saying: “Definitely we couldn’t win the series. We almost won the second match against them too, so it would have been like a series win.”
Commenting on veteran bowler Jhulan Goswami’s 200th ODI match, Mandhana said, “It’s a proud moment for all of us to be part of Jhulan di’s 200th match. She motivated us and also all the girls at home.”
She said Rachel Haynes is a key member of Australia’s lineup and “she anchored the innings for them.” So we’ll try to get her out early. She’s a very experienced player and it’s going to be an interesting fight.”
Australia manager Matthew Mott appeared to share Mandhana’s views and said he was confident those memories (of the 2017 defeat) would not surface again
“It’s not an event internally,” he said at a virtual media interaction.
“The last thing on our mind right now is literally what happened five years ago.
“India is our only focus at the moment, we have done a lot of research on them. And we can keep up with them. They’re a good cricket team but it’s going to be a hell of a game tomorrow night.” Mott added.
Considering it’s a good time to play against India,” said Mott, “I see them as an incredibly dangerous side. We’re rolling with some confidence at the moment but as we always say it’s this game in isolation and everything we’re talking about at the moment is how we can fight India.
“They have one of the best new ball bowling attacks in the world and that’s what we found out last summer. So we talked again about negating that and trying to build a base is very important,” he added.
Mott also said India had some dangerous players in the squad and that could hurt them, adding that the team needed to be at their best.
“From a bowling perspective, they always come up with real matchwinners, so we have to respect that they have some dangerous players in the lineup who can hurt us too, even if we get off to a good start. And it’s a game in which we have to do our best to overcome them and then we’ll move on to the next one.