Smriti, Meghna and Renuka are still in MIQ: Yastika Bhatia

India top-order batter Yastika Bhatia said opener Smriti Mandhana along with pacers Meghna Singh and Renuka Singh are still in New Zealand’s MIQ (Managed Isolation and Quarantine) facility.

The trio had missed the one-off T20I on Wednesday, which India lost by 18 runs at the John Davies Oval. Yastika had taken Smriti’s position in the batting order and made run-a-ball 26.

“Smriti, Meghna Singh and Renuka Singh are in compulsory MIQ by the New Zealand government. That’s all we can say at the moment,” said Yastika during the post-match virtual press conference. It is yet not clear if the trio will be available for the ODI series opener scheduled for February 12.

Asked about her assessment of batting in New Zealand conditions, Yastika remarked, “There is a lot of wind over here. So, we need to assess the wind direction and then hit our shots accordingly. The more we hit flatter, the better. Also, timing the ball is crucial here instead of hitting hard.”

The left-handed batter from Baroda emphasised a lot on the upcoming five-match ODI series serving as vital preparation for the Indian team ahead of the 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand. “This tour is very important for us because we are getting such a big series in New Zealand conditions. So, it becomes all the more important for us to do well and develop confidence in order to be well-prepared for the World Cup.

“This series is very important for World Cup preparation. Playing against bowlers like Lea Tahuhu and Amelia Kerr gives a good amount of confidence when you are able to get runs off them. In future, I hope the team does well.”

The 21-year-old signed off by saying that having sports psychologist Mugdha Bavare travelling with the team in New Zealand has been beneficial for her. “She has been very helpful. She has had good, individual sessions and focuses on what our match temperament is. Before the match, she calms us down, so the anxiety levels are normal and we can be well prepared for the match. Yesterday only, I had a session with her and really benefited from that session.”

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