Fans from all over the world are wishing a very happy birthday to one of India’s rising superstars. Smriti has a humongous fan base with her admirers loving the clean hits. Smriti has made her way in a nation of billions for whom women’s cricket meant Mithali Raj or Jhulan Goswami. The new crop of professionals in female cricket has got their rightful attention and Smriti Mandhana seems to be the leader of all.
She alongside her buddy Jemimah Rodrigues and short-format skipper Harmanpreet Kaur are the new pillars of Indian women and their might in the cricketing world. Mandhana fell for cricket when her dad used to take her brother for cricket practice every morning. Her day would start at 5 a.m. and the reward was facing 10-15 balls every day.
Watch Smriti Mandhana’s complete cricket journey here:
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) July 18, 2020
The balls grew in number, from 10-15 to 20-30 and it was soon that everyone knew the presence of something special in her. Interestingly, Mandhana batted left after seeing her brother and this talent of hers got her into the national side. It was at the age of 9 only that she was named into Maharashtra under – 15 squad. As she reached 11, her face in the list of the under-19 side. Media got the first instance of Mandhana’s brilliance when she smashed an unbeaten double century against Gujarat.
It was an innings of 224 runs from 150 deliveries. The bat, importantly, was gifted to her by Rahul Dravid. Her national debut in the one day format came against Bangladesh when she was just 16. Hence, in April 2013, she was making her debut against Bangladesh. Moreover, a year later, she was playing the test match of her career and got the first Test half-century to her name. Indians, eventually, registered a heroic test victory over their English counterparts.
It has to Smriti’s ability against both pace and spin that has made her a prominent face in T20 leagues throughout the world. In Women’s Big Bash League, she has represented Hobart Hurricanes and Brisbane Heat. Moreover, she has played for Western Storm in the Women’s Cricket Super League in the UK. Her numbers in the one-day format are amazing. She has a total of 2025 ODI runs in 51 matches. The average is marvelous 43.08 and the strike rate is nothing less than being phenomenal. It is 84.41. These numbers have highlights of four centuries and 17 half-centuries.
In the shortest format, her average is healthy at 25 and the strike rate is whopping 120. The ICC events, however, are yet to see a Mandhana special. In her first outing at the 2017 ODI world cup, she recorded a wonderful 90 and got herself an unbeaten century against West Indies. The tournament finished with Mandhana having 235 runs from 9 matches. However, she got better next year.
In 2018, she was the third-highest run-getter with 178 total runs against her name. These were in just 5 outings with an average of 35.5 and a laudable strike rate of 125.35. Smriti, with her bat and her smile, has conquered the world.
We at Female Cricket, on behalf of all fans, wish her a very happy birthday. We can only pray that lockdown and pandemic end soon and we get a glimpse of our star again.