- Smriti Mandhana is lighting up the KIA Women’s league with her batting performances
- The 22-year-old batsman has scored 387 runs in 7 innings including 1 hundred and 2 fifties
- She spoke to TOI exclusively and discussed her recent performances and India’s chances at the upcoming T20 World Cup
Ever Since India’s run to the Final of the 2017 Women’s World Cup in England, players like Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur have enjoyed much greater support than what veterans like Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami enjoyed during their early career. A lot of media attention suddenly shifted to the Indian women’s cricket team, which has in term led to a much further level of scrutiny, which the women cricketers were never subjected to earlier.
Smriti Mandhana is currently part of the Western Storm’s who are leading the points table in the KIA T20 League taking place in England right now. The Indian left-hander has been sensational for the Storm’s having scored 387 runs in 7 innings and is a key reason why they have lost just 1 match till now this season.
Latest Cricket News: A small tweak in batting technique does Mandhana a world of good
Mandhana who is currently in London preparing for her next match against Southern Vipers spoke exclusively to Times of India about her recent performances and the Indian women’s cricket team. “After the World Cup last year, I worked very hard on my batting & fitness levels. This has helped me in achieving good and consistent form since that time,” she said while talking about her performances at the KIA T20 League.
Mandhana who admires Virat Kohli and Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara told TOI how a slight change in technique helped her improve her performance. She said,”A minor change in grip, and a slightly more open stance are the two changes I have made lately. It has helped me with my stroke-making and with clearing the in-field easily. I’m feeling more confident.”
In the ongoing KIA Women’s League, Mandhana has already scored one 60-ball hundred and 2 fifties, one of which was the fastest in women’s T20 cricket (18 deliveries). However, the 22-year-old believes that there is still a lot she can do improve her batting and this is not the best that she can do on a cricket field. “I believe that my best is yet to come, and I’ve to keep improving myself and keep pushing myself and not be complacent. Scoring runs for my country and being consistent is what I always aspire to do,” she added.
Latest Cricket News: Mandhana confident about India’s chances at the upcoming T20 World Cup
Prior to the start of KIA Women’s League, Indian women’s cricket was embroiled in an unfortunate controversy following the exit of former coach Tushar Arothe after it was reported that he had massive differences with the senior players in the squad. However, Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur’s excellent performance in England has helped slightly in lifting the gloomy mood.
Apart from being the leading run-scorer in the tournament by a mile, Mandhana has also smashed 19 sixes, which is an all-time tournament record. However, this is not the area in which she is leading the charts, almost every variable related to batting sees Mandhana’s name at the top. Speaking about her brilliant batting this summer in England, she said, “It never expected myself to be leading across so many different stats on the batting chart in the tournament. However, I’m the happiest when the team wins. Personal performance is always secondary.”
Smriti Mandhana, who was named by BCCI as Best Women’s International Cricketer in June this year will be a key component of the Indian team in the coming few years. The Women’s T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in West Indies later this year will be the perfect platform for players like Mandhana to lead India’s charge as they look to win their 1st ever T20 World Cup.
“I will try my best there. Our team is working hard towards it, and the BCCI has really helped us in organizing preparatory camps and tours, which is providing us with enough match practice. These tours and camps help us assess our strengths and weakness, and plan accordingly for the T20 World Cup. If we play to our potential, God willing, we will do well,” Mandhana declared while discussing the upcoming T20 World Cup.
WATCH: Rahul Dravid Lauds Indian Women’s Cricket Team
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