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Womens World T20

'It's a very tough learning curve’ – Isobel Joyce

Ind v Ire, WT20 Match 13, reaction

Aiming higher, says Ireland veteran Isobel Joyce after their third defeat in a row at the ICC Women’s World T20 2018.

India got off to a good start with Mithali Raj, who went on to score a half-century, and Smriti Mandhana, but after 10 overs, they had only 67 runs on the board.

At that stage, though they didn’t have wickets in the bag, Ireland had hope. Once India got to 145/6, though, it was out of their reach, as they stopped on 93/8 in reply.

“140-plus is going to be too much for us probably at the moment to get with the bat. We have consistently made 90 to 100 at this level. We obviously are aiming higher, but probably 120 would've been reachable for us if we were realistic,” said Joyce after the game.

“Once they got that total I think it was always going to be tough. I think that our batting, we can't formulate plans on the ground. We have to be playing these people more often.

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"If you look the players like the top Indians, they play against top bowlers all the time. They have a plan against all the tough bowlers, because they've played them a number of times each year.”

Elaborating on the point, Joyce added, “That's the first time I've played against any of those bowlers in a couple of years. I'm trying to think on my feet, and suddenly it's four or five balls into a spell and a new bowler comes on. That's really where the difficulty lies. It's not the nerves. I can look at as much footage as I want, but actually doing that in the middle against a bowler I haven't faced in a long time is really, really tough.”

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Following defeats to Australia – who she tagged as the favourites to win the trophy – and Pakistan, it was all to play for against India, to create a good impression.

“We looked at India, tried to put Pakistan behind us, learn from our mistakes, and just try and get better each game. It's a very tough learning curve, and trying put into place small changes two days after a loss like that is difficult,” Joyce said. “But I think we did a good job today.”

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The experience of playing against top sides can only help, but Joyce is hoping for more fixtures against the likes of India and Australia and New Zealand.

“The occasion … I don't think the occasion gets to us, but this is just another day for the Indian girls. It's a huge occasion for us,” she explained. “That's not where we want to be. We want to be a team that are used to playing these kinds of games day in, day out. We want to be become a professional side.”

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