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WPL 2024: 'Lot hard work behind the scenes has gone into this', says Mandhana after RCB qualify for playoffs

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WPL 2024: 'Lot hard work behind the scenes has gone into this', says Mandhana after RCB qualify for playoffs

New Delhi, March 13 (Ajit Weekly News) After Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) qualified for 2024 WPL playoffs with a seven-wicket win over Mumbai Indians, captain Smriti Mandhana revealed that getting into the knockouts is the result of lots of thoughts and hard work put in behind the scenes.

RCB had failed to qualify for knockouts in WPL 2023 and in 2024, they managed to get into the business end of the competition. “We couldn’t step up and play the cricket we wanted to play (last year). But in, last one year, a lot of thoughts have gone into this. A lot of hard work behind the scenes, not only from my side but all the support staff, and the RCB management. For them to show their faith in all of us was just amazing.

“You know, the only conversation they had was that ‘this is your team, make it the way you want to’. So that was really nice from their side to do that. I wouldn’t say that (this has been a) really satisfying campaign still, but we had a lot of ups and downs. We started off really well and then had a little bit of dip. But that’s how WPL and T20 cricket is. You’ll have good days and bad days,” said Smriti after the match.

RCB could have entered the knockouts if they didn’t suffer the one-run defeat to Delhi Capitals on Sunday, but rectified that missed opportunity by bowling out Mumbai Indians for 113, thanks to Ellyse Perry’s sensational 6-15 and making an unbeaten 40 with the bat to complete the chase with five overs remaining.

“We always knew that out of the two if we win any – even (in) that one-run (loss) game – we would have made the knockouts. So, we are not looking at what other teams are doing or what’s happening, what’s the equation, the net run rate etc because that can sometimes really take away the cricket.

“We talked about ‘let’s treat it as a quarterfinal, a semifinal and then the final, and not make it too complicated. Let’s go out there and play the best cricket we can’, and that’s what we’ve tried to do,” added Smriti.

She also acknowledged the role played by the RCB support staff led by head coach Luke Williams. “We didn’t really complicate it a lot. We just spoke on things which went away in the Delhi match and things that didn’t go our way. We had decent chats and one-on-ones with a lot of the players, including Luke.”

“He’s been just amazing just handling the whole group and their emotions. Especially I think with RCB and the kind of fan base (it has), it’s not an easy thing to come in in your first year and be able to do that. As Indians we are used to it, but for someone from coming outside to do that, I think he’s just done an amazing job. Even the support staff I think they have been brilliant,” she concluded.

–Ajit Weekly News

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