There is seldom any doubt that India’s opening batter Smriti Mandhana has established herself on the global map, but the 25-year old southpaw wants to add more consistency to her batting going into the ICC Women’s World Cup that will be played in New Zealand from March 4 to April 3, next year.
After the MoU signing event of Hyundai Motor India on December 15 at the company headquarters in Gurugram, in which Mandhana, alongwith three of her teammates; Jemimah Rodrigues, Taniya Bhatia and Shafali Verma, were signed as brand ambassadors, India’s T20I vice-captain Mandhana told PTI, “Post Covid, it was hard to get the rhythm back as I was playing international cricket after one and a half years. It took a while to get into the groove but the last two series have been decent but surely there is scope for improvement. I am really happy with the way I have been timing the ball. I am sure the team has also learnt a lot in the last one year which will help us go forward.”
Mandhana has been very busy in the last nine months, playing a home series against South Africa, then a couple of away series against England and Australia, and ofcourse global leagues like the Hundred and Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), which witnessed some impressive performances from the India’s opening batter.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) December 16, 2021
In the 2021 calendar year, the southpaw has scored 851 runs in 22 matches, including 11 ODIs, nine T20Is and two Tests. She has smashed one century and five half-centuries in the year. She said, “As a batter you have to be selfish to be more consistent and that’s something I want to work on, closing games on a regular basis especially the tight finishes. It is something which we all know that we need to work on as that is going to help us in the World Cup.”
Though India have lost the ODI series to South Africa, England and Australia this year, it is important for them to remember that they were the runners-up in the 2017 World Cup that was played in England. Also the fact that India will be touring New Zealand for a one-off T20I and five-match ODI series just before the World Cup that will also be played in New Zealand will help India in their preparations for the mega event.
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.