Mumbai: Prolific all-rounder Ellyse Perry has backed Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Smriti Mandhana to come good in the Women’s Premier League (WPL), saying the left-handed opener needs a chance to find her feet in the ongoing competition.
Despite a star-studded line-up, Bangalore have lost all four matches and are rooted to the bottom of the points table. Smriti, the most expensive player in the competition, has made only 80 runs in four matches.
Moreover, she has fallen to off-spinners thrice in the tournament, while being dismissed by left-arm spin of UP Warriorz’ Rajeshwari Gayakwad in Bangalore’s ten-wicket defeat.
“To be honest, knowing Smriti and how proud and responsible she is for her own game, there’s probably no more pressure on her than what she is putting on herself. And it’s a ginormous task to come into a brand new competition, play with a group of players she’s never played with before and try and make that all gel in a matter of a couple of days since she joined the group.”
“She is an incredible player, we all know that. She is a great captain too, she just needs a chance to find her feet in the tournament and she will, no doubt. But I think, the bigger picture, it means we are going to see an even better version of Smriti after this because I’m sure she has learnt so much from this competition already both as a captain and as a batter to make her even better in the future. She’s only young still (26),” said Ellyse after the game ended.
At the same time, Ellyse signalled young off-spinner all-rounder Shreyanka Patil to emerge as a star cricketer in future. In three appearances, Shreyanka has shined with her decent cameos or spells with the ball.
“Shreyanka is super young and to see her bat the way she does and the bowling talent. She is a special star for the future. I haven’t seen someone like that of her age around the world for a long time with that kind of skill and attitude, and that’s really cool.”
In Friday’s loss to Warriorz, Bangalore had a batting collapse from 54/1 to 116/5 and was eventually run out for 138. Ellyse opined not batting well in the middle overs is a huge issue for Bangalore to address, apart from not having huge partnerships with the bat.
“Certainly, with the bat, that middle section has been a bit tricky for us and losing wickets when we really need to kick on and have batters take responsibility for the innings. We’re losing really important moments in the game and probably the biggest part of that is just not having a big partnership that really kicks the score on.”
“Interestingly the way we finished the game against Gujarat the other night, chasing that big score, was absolutely brilliant. It’s just that middle period where teams are accelerating and got a long-standing partnership, that seems to be where we’re losing a wicket or two. To me, that’s the biggest thing – we crucially haven’t had one of those big partnerships that give the momentum for your side.”
Bangalore’s next match in WPL 2023 will be against Delhi Capitals Monday at the DY Patil Stadium.
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