India’s stand-in T20I captain Smriti Mandhana. @ PTI

Guwahati: India women’s stand-in captain Smriti Mandhana has called for an improvement in the domestic structure after the hosts went down by five wickets against England women to lose the three-match Twenty20 International series on Thursday. (ALSO READ: Danielle Wyatt, Katherine Brunt lead England to series win over India)

India scored a modest 111 for 8 in the second T20I and were restricted to 119 for 6 in the opener in reply to England’s 160 for 4. “I think if you look at it, the batters we get in domestic [circuit], they face very different bowling and fielding attack to international cricket,” Mandhana said.

“There is a huge gap between international and domestic cricket. That gap needs to be lessened. 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 domestic, that is the only way you are going to play the same way in international cricket. (ALSO READ: Jhulan Goswami rises to top spot in ICC ODI rankings for bowlers)

“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 our domestic circuit, take those scores to 140-150. If that is happening then all the batters will come with the same mindset of playing a fearless brand of cricket. Fearless doesn’t mean careless. There is a thin line between fearless and careless. I think we need to play fearless.”

India’s terrible form in the shortest format continues. They were whitewashed in New Zealand 3-0 in which their batting was exposed yet again. In that series, only Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues had scored over 50 runs.

Quizzed about how the domestic players could express themselves more, Mandhana said: “We have spoken to all the batters, [Coach WV] Raman sir has spoken to them. Even me, Mithu di (Mithali Raj) and Harry di (Harmanpreet) have spoken to all the domestic batters regarding how the approach should be. We are definitely working on it. It is going to take some time because still our batters have the fear of getting out.

“I think we need to leave that fear, including me. We need to just get off those fear and select the areas [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 don’t take lot a of singles. Definitely we will be looking to work on reducing the dot-ball percentage, taking more singles and rotating the strike.”

The third and final T20I – now an inconsequential match – will be played on Saturday in Guwahati.