'They call RCB the most loyal fanbase, we saw it this time' - Smriti Mandhana on response from fans in Bengaluru

"As a women’s cricketer, at that moment, I think women’s cricket has won. I am saying this not just about Smriti Mandhana or RCB, I feel like women’s cricket is winning," said Mandhana.

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Smrithi Mandhana vs GG WPL.
Smrithi Mandhana vs GG WPL. (Photo Source: BCCI/WPL)

The Royal Challengers Bangalore remain in the hunt for the top spot in the WPL 2024 after beating UP Warriorz by 23 runs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on March 4. JioCinema and Sports18 WPL experts Saba Karim and Sushma Verma discussed RCB's performance. RCB captain Smriti Mandhana, who scored 80 runs, too, spoke exclusively to JioCinema and Sports18 on ‘Match Center Live’. Excerpts:

Smriti Mandhana, captain RCB, on the fan experience in Bengaluru: “We'll see if the Delhi crowd can match the energy of the Bangalore crowd. We have seen men’s cricket here, I had come in 2016 to watch a match and the crowd was similar and the atmosphere was like this. The way people have supported me has been great to see. As a women’s cricketer, at that moment, I think women’s cricket has won. I am saying this not just about Smriti Mandhana or RCB, I feel like women’s cricket is winning. Last year, Mumbai had a good turnout. Bangalore was crazy, especially for our matches. It was great watching people come and support not just the home team but also the others. They call RCB the most loyal fanbase. We saw it this time. We couldn’t even step out in Bangalore for the last 15 days, it’s that good! It’s a win for women’s cricket and the entire fraternity.”

Also read: ‘That’s how RCB fan base is’ - Smriti Mandhana overwhelmed by crowd's support at Chinnaswamy

Mandhana on S Meghana’s form this season: “I can’t take any credit, the way she has come back is amazing. I discussed this with her after the auction and told her that I had full faith in her, after what she had done on the domestic circuit. I had a similar season, so what could I even say? I just had this conversation with her that, ‘I know your strengths, your strength is that you can hit a six any day. Other than that, whatever is not your strength, just leave that to me’. To be fair, she’s working very hard and I can see that.”

Sushma Verma on Smriti Mandhana’s knock: “Her contribution was great as a batter and a leader. When you’re the opener, you set the tone. You decide where the game is going to go, and Smriti showed that with her batting. The shots she played, and the length of her innings shows how impactful she was. As a leader, her body language shows how she’s feeling. Last season, she seemed upset while making decisions as they weren’t bringing in results. But today, it felt great to see her enjoy these decisions.”

Also read: WPL 2024: Wareham stresses on consistency as key ahead of Delhi leg after RCB’s dominating show at home

Saba Karim on RCB’s win in their last game at home: “Warriorz were in the hunt for the first seven-eight overs. Once they started losing wickets, it became very difficult for them. In the middle overs, they expected Grace Harris to step up the run-chase, but because of her dismissal, they left far too many runs to be scored in the last three or four overs. That was the biggest issue for the UP Warriorz. But for RCB, this is the best possible way to finish the Bengaluru leg. This is what they’ve given the Bengaluru fans who have turned out in large numbers to support their squad. A very well-scripted win for them in Bengaluru.”

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