Smriti Mandhana said that gap in quality between the domestic circuit and international level will need to be bridged for India to do well consistently. Th stand-in captain was talking ahead of the third Twenty20 International against England in Guwahati, where India will be playing to avoid a second straight whitewash on Saturday.

India lost their sixth match on the trot in the T20I format on Thursday, starting from the World T20 semi-finals in October, the away series to New Zealand and the ongoing series against England.

In both the outings against England India’s batting struggled, managing less than 120 runs chasing or batting first.

“There is a huge gap between international and domestic cricket. That gap needs to be lessened. The batters we get in domestic, they face very different bowling and fielding attack to international cricket,” Mandhana, the ICC’s Cricketer of the Year, said.

“Our domestic circuit needs to step up. There should be a bit of fearlessness in domestic circuit because if you start playing fearless cricket in the domestic circuit, you are going to play the same way in international cricket,” she added.

In the series against New Zealand last month, the Indian team struggled to breach the 140-run mark.

“If you look at our domestic scores in T20s, it is generally around 110-120. I think we all need to go back, step up in our domestic circuit, and take those scores to 140-150.”

“That way, the batters will come with the mindset of playing a fearless brand of cricket. Fearless doesn’t mean careless. I think we need to play fearless,” Mandhana said.

The opener said Indian batters, including herself, fear getting out and need to select areas to hit the ball.

“I think we need to leave that fear, including me. We need to select the areas where to hit. Our batters are not going out there and selecting the areas in terms of which balls to hit.”

“I think another major difference between other teams and our team is running between the wickets. We either play a dot ball or boundary. We will be looking to work on reducing the dot-ball percentage, taking more singles and rotating the strike.

With PTI inputs