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No pressure on domestic Mumbai Indians players in WPL 2, says batting coach Palshikaar

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Mumbai, Jan 26 (PTI) Not too many Indian players shone in the inaugural Women’s Premier League, but Mumbai Indians’ batting coach Devieka Palshikaar believes that they will not be under pressure to perform when the second season gets underway on February 23.

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Only Harmanpreet Kaur and Saika Ishaque were impressive among the Indians for the Mumbai team in the WPL last year. Kaur (281 runs) was the most prolific scorer while Ishaque (15 wickets) was the best bowler for MI.

Overseas players Nat Sciver-Brunt and Hayley Mathews of England were the all-round performers for the title-winning Mumbai side.

“I can talk about MI players because I don't think the kind of atmosphere we have, our players will take any pressure,” Palshikaar told PTI during a MI Juniors event here.

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“Our Indian domestic players also perform at par with international players , so for MI, I can say there is no pressure at all,” she added.

Meg Lanning (345 runs) of finalists Delhi Capitals dominated the batting charts, followed by her Australian compatriot Tahlia McGrath of UP Warriorz.

Among bowlers, England’s Sophie Ecclestone (16 wickets) was the joint-highest wicket-taker with West Indies’ Mathews.

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Mumbai Indians and India wicketkeeper-batter Yastika Bhatia said opening the innings alongside Mathews was particularly a learning experience for her.

“I got to learn a lot from the international stars. They have performed so well for their countries and now they are doing it for MI team in WPL,” she said.

“I batted alongside Hayley Mathews in the opening (slot). We used to talk a lot in between overs how we have to approach the next over or how the power play has to go and then after that,” she added.

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“She used to help me a lot and calm me a down lot, like asking ‘are you doing fine’. Even Nat Sciver (Brunt) had really impressed me in the last tournament and the last two innings which he played for us that really inspired me,” Bhatia said.

Coming off a long home season against England and Australia in which India defeated both the visiting teams in Tests, Bhatia said her side will continue to show improvement since they lost all three white-ball series.

“As a team we did really well. Especially in Test series, we beat both the teams and there was a really good atmosphere which was created by the support staff. There were a lot of positives and in the next series you will see some different results,” she said.

Palshikaar, who played one Test and 15 ODIs for India, said the MI Juniors’ camp will help discover more players who will get a chance to play.

"Definitely, working with pro coaches will help them, even that can increase their confidence that we are working with MI coaches. Technically and mentally also that will give them the extra boost,” she said. PTI DDV PDS PDS

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