The Indian women's cricket team's stand-in T20 skipper Smriti Mandhana feels fearless batters have to step up in the domestic circuit for the side to improve at the international level and described the current gulf in quality as "huge".
The Indian women lost their sixth match on the trot in the T20 format after going down to England in the first two games of an ongoing series. The Women in Blue had lost an away series to New Zealand 0-3.
In both the outings against England, whether chasing or batting first, India managed less than 120 runs.
"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."