“Smriti is the ideal choice after Mithali retires”- Former Captain, Shantha Rangaswamy

As 2021 draws to a close, the excitement for the 2022 ICC Women’s World Cup scheduled in March/April is building up, and so is the race to the biggest title of cricket. However, with this excitement, is the news of the pillar of women cricket in India, Mithali Raj who would be seen for one last time in the blue.

Mithali Raj and Smriti Mandhana
Mithali Raj and Smriti Mandhana


One of the most decorated women cricketers, Raj has had over two decades of an applaudable cricket career finding a place on almost every page of the record book with just a World Cup trophy waiting to fill her cabinet of achievements. The only Indian female captain to lead the women in Blue into two World Cup Finals, Raj would be looking to finally convert one to the title and so would team India to give their legendary captain a special gift and a farewell to cherish.


Mithali Raj creates World Record. PC: Getty Images
Mithali Raj creates World Record. PC: Getty Images


For now, the question that arises in the mind of every Indian supporter is who will take the success of Mithali Raj forward? Who will next lead the team which is now considered as one of the favourites of women’s cricket?

Though we have Harmanpreet Kaur taking the charge of T20I after Raj’s retirement from the format in 2019 but looking at her performance since she took the responsibility, it can be seen that Kaur hasn’t been able to manage well between the roles. Though the all-rounder played extraordinarily well during the seventh edition of Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), being adjudged as the Player of the Tournament. But Who leads the women in Blue next?

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Sharing her opinion on this with PTI, was the Member of BCCI’s Apex Council and former Indian team captain Shantha Rangaswamy who believes that opener, Smriti Mandhana is the ideal choice for the role.

Mandhana has been in the spotlight for quite a while now. She smashed her maiden test century in the historic pink ball test against Australia in October this year and followed it with a maiden WBBL century by an Indian, finishing as the leading run-scorer for her team, Sydney Thunder in the league’s seventh edition. The 25 years old has been playing for the national side since 2013 and till now have represented the country in 84 T20Is, 62 ODIs, and 4 tests being ranked as India’s third-highest WT20I run-scorer and the fourth highest in WODI.

In the interview, Shantha said, “Smriti is the ideal choice after Mithali retires. She has been an excellent performer for India and should be given the opportunity to lead the country.”

Additionally, Shantha also commented on the success of the Women Challenger’s Trophy 2021-22 which concluded on Thursday with Sneh Rana led India A winning the five-day-long mini-tournament. She said, “The event has unearthed a lot of talent which augurs well for women’s cricket. It also shows that we are ready for a Women’s IPL.”

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