Mumbai, Feb 15: Indian women's team coach WV Raman wants opener Smriti Mandhana, who is in blazing form, to bat for a specific number of overs to develop her patience at the crease.
22-year-old Mandhana, ranked No. 1 in the ODIs, said, "He (Raman) has been telling me to play 30 overs in ODIs as he knows that if I bat till 30 overs, I will continue to bat. And in 20 over games, he has been telling me to bat for 13 overs."
Mandhana, a Red Bull athlete, told media persons, "He's giving me targets to bat a certain number of balls because strike rate and those kinds of things never concern me, the only problem is the patience aspect. He is helping with that and giving me targets to bat through these many balls and that many overs and that is being great," said the left-handed batswoman.
When asked if the team was too dependent on her, Mandhana replied that the perception was not correct.
"No, I don't think so. We have got a lot of match-winners in our team. It is just that sometimes someone goes through a lean patch and you need to cover up for your teammate. And sometimes that would be the case, if I am not going, the middle order will look after me (help me).
"So you can't say that they (other batswomen) are too dependent, but I think the main responsibility as a batter is to win matches and dependence never comes (in the way)," she stressed.
During last year's women's T20 tri-series, Mandhana had said that she was throwing her wicket away after setting herself in.
Eleven months later, she feels that she is being able to improve 10 per cent on this aspect, but the next aim was to carry on batting till the end of the innings.
"Somewhat, yes, maybe 10 per cent I have improved on that. From 50 to 60s, I have gone to 70s. But I'm still leaving 20-30 runs when we are chasing. I think it will be good if I come back not out. Hopefully I can do that against England in the (upcoming) ODI and the T20 series," she said.
"I'm really excited (for the England series) and we are playing the ICC Championships and we need six points to be up there. Hopefully, we will all stick together and win the ODI series (against England). I hope that I can win more matches for India," Mandhana remarked.
The ODI series against England starts Friday next and all the three matches in the 50-over rubber will be played at the Wankhede Stadium here.
(With inputs from PTI)