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Smriti Mandhana needs to work on strike rotation and be patient, says Punam Raut after assessing her Women’s Big Bash League form

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) managed to clinch their first victory in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) after beating UP Warriorz by five wickets on March 15. Despite the win, RCB skipper Smriti Mandhana’s struggles continued as she was dismissed for a duck. WPL expert Punam Raut suggested that Mandhana should be more patient against off-spinners and focus on strike rotation.

“We know the kind of player Smriti Mandhana is, she doesn’t need to make big changes in her game. She has been struggling to play off-spinners and we have been saying that she needs to be more patient and rotate the strike in those situations. It’ll be better for her,” Raut said.

Another WPL expert, Reema Malhotra, praised Kanika Ahuja for her match-winning performance, guiding RCB to their first victory. Ahuja scored 46 off 30 balls, including one maximum and eight boundaries, and was awarded Player of the Match.

“The game I have seen from Kanika in domestic cricket has really been developing well. She’s still a youngster but the way she uses her footwork and plays in all areas, this is her strength. Having a player like this in India is not common. We want more players like her to emerge, so selectors need to pay more attention to this. It’ll be good for Team India if she receives opportunities in the future,” Malhotra said.

RCB had lost five consecutive matches before securing their first win of the season. Although they still have a slim chance to make it to the knockout stage, they need to win all their remaining matches and rely on other results going their way.