Smriti Mandhana registers First Test Century by an Indian Player on Australian Soil

India’s star opening bat, Smriti Mandhana, seems to be in love with Australia, as she recorded her first ODI century in Hobart and her maiden Test century in Queensland on Friday on the eve of the historic pink-ball Test.


Maiden Test Century for Smriti Mandhana
Maiden Test Century for Smriti Mandhana


Playing her first day/night Test ever, the stylish southpaw looked at home right from ball one as she weathered the lethal Australian bowling attack with ease. With that beautiful knock, the 25-year old now holds the record for the highest individual score in women’s Test in Australia by a visiting batter, having gone past English batter Molly Hide, who scored 124 way back in 1949. In the process, she also became the first Indian woman to score a century in a pink-ball Test.

There was not even an iota of nervousness when Mandhana was in her nineties. She was cool as a cucumber and the kind of composure she exuded was a treat to watch. She reached the milestone with a cracking pull behind square on the leg-side off Ellyse Perry, who would have been sulking with that no-ball that she bowled to Mandhana at the start of day 2, which got her the wicket.

Put in to bat first on a day that had rain forecast, India started off well, thanks to a 93-run opening partnership between Shafali Verma (31) and Smriti Mandhana, which came off just 25 overs. While her partner Verma looked a bit out of sorts, Mandhana, on the other hand, was fluent with her stroke-making and pleasing to the eyes. The elegant cover drives and breathtaking pulls from the meat off Mandhana’s bat were unequivocally a splendid spectacle. Though the Aussies had a packed off-side field set for her, Mandhana’s class was such that she could pierce the gaps from that densely packed off-side. She played seam and spin with equal comfort, almost giving no chance to the Australians to get the better of her.

The southpaw peppered the boundary rope 23 times, plundering 22 boundaries and a six in her 216-ball knock of 127. With that innings, she put India in a commanding position. Mandhana has just played four Tests for India, however, the kind of maturity she showed during her innings speaks volumes about her ability and talent. The Sangli-born cricketer has registered two half-centuries and a century in six Test innings. There is no doubt that the opening batter has been a vital cog in team India’s batting line-up and will continue to be one for years to come.

I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.

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