Smriti Mandhana takes 'blame' as RCB's winless streak continues
Smriti Mandhana was at pains to see Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) suffer yet another defeat on Friday (March 10) in the Women's Premier League (WPL) 2023. The Indian veteran took responsibility and "blame" as skipper of RCB after they went down for the fourth consecutive time in the first-ever WPL tournament.
Mandhana was speaking in the aftermath of RCB's 10-wicket hammering received at the hands of UP Warriorz at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. Visibly in dismay at the side's losing spree, not being on board in the five-team competition after four matches, the leader attributed the results down to the inconsistency of performances by her team, not being able to stitch together a perfect game.
The one against the Warriorz was far from it. Not only were the RCB dismissed for a paltry 138 with star allrounder Ellyse Perry's valiant fifty being the only saving grace, but also got smashed all over the park in the second half to lose the match with an eye-catching seven overs left.
It was the kind of defeat that Smriti Mandhana found difficult to digest. Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, She put the performances down to her team's inadequate showings with the bat and repeatedly expensive nature with the ball.
Mandhana at pain over RCB's winless drought
"I think in the last four games, it has been happening. We start well and we lose a cluster of wickets. I will take the blame as well. As a top order batter, we need to put up runs on the board for the bowlers to defend," Mandhana said.
Middle overs batting is another issue that RCB seems to be plagued with. Placed reasonably well at 54/1 by the close of the powerplay, Mandhana and her team lost wickets at regular intervals thereafter and found themselves 124/5 by the 16th over mark, after which came the horrific lower-order collapse as the popular franchise finished below the 140 mark when they would've hoped for at least 160.
"We spoke about it before this match that we will try to take 7-8 runs per over but it did not work out today. As top-order batters, we need to bat well and put up a good total to defend. We don’t have injuries."
"We are trying to get a balanced team that can win us a game. I have tried to speak to almost all the players, pep them up and I have to keep doing it. Last week has been tough. Lots to reflect and lots to work on," said the elegant batter.
"A lot of people have reached out to me and as an international cricketer, we have faced these situations before. I have my family around me always but I always believe that you have to sit by yourself and rectify your mistakes."