HomeNewsWPL 2024: "Team Balance Has Improved" - RCB Captain Smriti Mandhana

WPL 2024: “Team Balance Has Improved” – RCB Captain Smriti Mandhana

WPL 2024: Before the start of the upcoming Women’s Premier League (WPL) season, star Indian batter and captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Smriti Mandhana stated that the team’s balance has improved and they aim to reach their full potential. The second season of the WPL will take place in Bengaluru and Delhi from February 23 to March 17.

Despite having elite players like Ellyse Perry, Heather Knight, Mandhana, Sophie Devine, Megan Schutt, and Renuka Thakur in the lineup, RCB was unable to produce strong performances in their previous campaign, winning only two of their eight games and missing out on the playoffs.

The hopes of RCB skipper Mandhana and her teammate Renuka Singh Thakur for the second season of the league were discussed in an interview with JioCinema and Sports18 WPL analyst Reema Malhotra on the program named “TATA WPL 2024 Huddle.”

Mandhana, captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore said: “I would definitely want it to be better than the first season. From RCB’s point of view, quite a few players were released and we brought in new players. So, the balance has improved for sure, and we are hoping to live up to our potential. Playing in the domestic season helped me practice well and we saw quite a few girls against whom we have not played previously. I was able to recommend a few names to my franchise after seeing these girls.”

“Last year, when we joined the team two days before the tournament, we did not know about 90 per cent of the players. We did not know what they did and what they did not. This year, it was important to know their strengths and weaknesses so that we can play better. The WPL is a short tournament and it’s difficult to change things when it’s on,” she further added.

SEE ALSO: WPL 2024: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) – SWOT Analysis

Regarding whether or not RCB is a title challenger, Mandhana stated that the team is driven to perform better this time around but does not want to look too far ahead.

“The people at our franchise are very nice and have supported us immensely, so more than anything else, we want to win the trophy for them. The way they backed us even after four losses last season, the conversation revolved around our well-being. So, as players, it is very important that we respect the backing we are getting, and also try to win the trophy for our fans who supported us so much last season,” she added.

“This time, I do not want to repeat the mistakes of last year” – Smriti Mandhana

RCB in their threads for the WPL 2023 Season. [Image: Twitter] WPL 2024
RCB in their threads for the WPL 2023 Season. [Image: India Today]
Smriti acknowledged that her performance in eight matches last season, averaging little over 18, fell short of expectations. 37 was her best score.

“This time, I do not want to repeat the mistakes of last year and give the team a platform from where we can launch. Our batting line-up is very good. As a captain, I know the players better this time,” she added.

Renuka, a bowler for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, acknowledged that her performance in six games last year was below par and that the skipper and squad supported her despite this.

ALSO READ: WPL 2024: LIVE Streaming, Fixtures And Squad Details – Here Is All You Need To Know

“Last year my performance was not up to the mark, and I was wondering where this problem lay. The RCB team and the captain backed me whole-heartedly. In fact, I had given up, but they backed me. This time, I would not want to let them down and am confident of doing well. Last year, I think, I lacked that confidence because of the back injury,” said the pacer.

WPL 2024: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)

Squad strength: 18 (6 overseas)

Players bought: Georgia Wareham (Rs 40 lakh), Kate Cross (Rs 30 lakh), Ekta Bisht (Rs 60 lakh), Shubha Satheesh (Rs 10 lakh), S Meghana (Rs 30 lakh), Simran Bahadur (Rs 30 lakh), Sophie Molineux (Rs 30 lakh)

Full squad: Asha Shobana, Disha Kasat, Ellyse Perry, Heather Knight, Indrani Roy, Kanika Ahuja, Renuka Singh, Richa Ghosh, Shreyanka Patil, Smriti Mandhana, Sophie Devine, Georgia Wareham, Kate Cross, Ekta Bisht, Shubha Satheesh, S Meghana, Simran Bahadur, Sophie Molineux

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