“She is one of the most focused youngsters in the side, and has been so all through; else she wouldn’t have been able to rise through the ranks so easily. She has worked hard to get past that injury – both mentally and physically”
-Shantha Rangaswamy, former chairperson of BCCI Women’s selection committee-
Smriti Mandhana is the newest sensation in Women’s Cricket. She has taken Women’s cricket by storm. She neither has the experience of Mithali Raj nor the chutzpah of Ellyse Perry but she does pack a punch when it matters the most. She has been brilliant so far in the Women’s World Cup 2017 having scored a 90 odd in the first, followed by a century in the next. Here is some stat for you. At 20 Years and 346 days, she is the 3rd youngest to score a century in Women’s World Cup.
She has impressed not just her opposition but also a plethora of cricket experts. The pull shots and the cover drives are a complete treat to watch. She hits the ball clean and with such placement. The way she was finding the gaps right beween the fielders were a treat to watch in the India vs West Indies match. Smriti does remind every cricket aficionado of the legendary Yuvraj Siingh. The high backlifts, the cover drives and the pulls through the leg side all remind of the southpaw from Punjab.
Smriti Mandhana made her debut for India in 2013 as a 16 year old. It was in 2014 she made her Test debut. She scored her first hundred in the Australian series down under in 2015-16. Smriti Mandhana showcased her aggression in the first match against England. England are considered to be one of the top contenders of the tourney. But the way in which she tamed the Engish bowlers was worth watching. More power to women’s cricket with the arrival of Smrithi Mandhana. Just barely 20 years old and playing in her first world cup for India, she did not disappoint. If she continues in this scintillating form that she is in at the moment, she will finish as the tourney’s leading scorer. Over the years the burden of batting has been on the shoulders of Mithali Raj. When she faultered people expected the game to be finished sooner rather than later. The arrival of Smriti has enriched the Indian batting line up whatsoever. I remember a 16 year old Mithali Raj impress people in 1999. It was written on her face that should would be the next big thing in Indian women’s cricket. She went on to do exactly that. In Smriti Mandhana as well I see that extra bit of urge and the X factor that was seen in Mithali Raj. I hope she stays humble and grounded for the years to come. We have one for the future. The next face of Indian cricket is here. Make way for Smriti Mandhana.