Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 11 (ANI): India opening batter Smriti Mandhana feels the players need to keep working on their fielding and fitness keeping in mind the 50-over World Cup which is slated to be held in New Zealand next year.
The ICC Women's World Cup 2022 will take place on both the North and South Islands, across six venues in six host cities from March 4 to April 3 in 2022. In the 2017 World Cup final, India was on a course of victory before Anya Shrubsole wreaked havoc to get England home.
Smriti said India's focus has been on raising the fielding and fitness standard. "We have just come after a really long break. So at the moment we are going out there and trying to play some good cricket. But for sure we know that the World Cup will be in New Zealand. Our bowlers bowled really well in the last match so we want to be consistent with our bowling," Smriti said in a virtual press conference on Thursday.
"And one thing we are working on post-2017 World Cup is fielding and fitness. That's the whole for next year because I think skills can go and come but fielding and the fitness standard has to be up that's something which we want to keep getting higher in the World Cup. Hopefully, we get to a stage where we are fielding and running between the wickets really well," she added.
Earlier this week, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah announced that India women's team will play a one-off Test against England later this year.
It will be India women's first game in the longest format of the game since November 2014 when the Indian players took on South Africa. India and England had earlier played a one-off Test in 2014 where the Mithali Raj-led side emerged victorious by six wickets.
Smriti expressed excitement about donning the whites which she craved for during her childhood seeing the men's Test team.
"I am not sure about when the Test match is happening. It's been announced and we all are really excited. I think everyone has spoken about it. It's a different feeling of putting on whites, going in to bat with three slip fielders and gully fielders. That's a feeling as a batter," an elated Smriti opined.
"I used to crave for that feeling whenever I used to watch men's Test match. So it will very exciting to go out there and play," she added.
With the win in the second ODI, the hosts levelled the five-match series 1-1. India and South Africa will now lock horns in the third ODI on Friday at the same ground. (ANI)