Stylish left-hander and opener of the Indian Women’s Cricket team, Smriti Mandhana has mesmerized everyone with her sublime cricket shots ever since she made her debut in the national team.
|Full Name||Smriti Shriniwas Mandhana|
|Height||5ft 4 in (1.63 m)|
|Age||22 (18 July 1996)|
|International Runs (ODI,Test ,T20)||290 (1602,81,868)|
|Major Teams Featured For||Brisbane Heat Women, India Green Women,India Women, Maharashtra Women, Trailblazers,Western Storm|
Smriti Mandhana Biography
Father Shriniwas Mandhana represented Sangli district and came close to being picked for Maharashtra cricket team. This former district-level cricketer wanted any of his children to fulfil his personal ambition of playing for India because he couldn’t. But the left-handed Smriti was fulfilling a dream of her own too.
Smriti Mandhana was born on 18th July 1996 in Mumbai. When she was two-years-old, her family moved to Sangli, where she concluded her schooling. Both her father and brother Shravan, played cricket at the district-level for Sangli.
Mandhana was inspired to take up cricket after she watched her brother compete in the Maharashtra state Under-16 tournament.
“I used to train in the morning, then go to school, and then have nets in the evening,” she says. “Sometimes, if the teachers let me go early, I used to finish evening nets and then go home and watch TV,” remembers Smriti.
At 15 while moving out to Mumbai or Bangalore for training was not a possible option, Smriti got a concrete pitch built with her savings for her batting sessions.
All those sacrifices paid off when she earned India call-up in 2013 for a short limited-overs series against Bangladesh. A call-up to the World T20 meant she had to skip her Class XII board exams. Later a tour of England that year meant she would have had to miss a year and forego admissions into a hotel management course she wanted to enrol for.
When she was 9-years-old, Smriti played for Maharashtra’s U/15 team. By the time she turned 11, she was already a part of the Maharashtra Under-19 team.
In October 2013, Mandhana became the first Indian woman to score a double-hundred in a one-day game. Playing for Maharashtra, she scored an unbeaten 224 off 150 balls in the West Zone Under-19 Tournament against Gujarat.
In the 2016 Women’s Challenger Trophy, she became the tournament’s top-scorer, scoring 192 runs, and helping her team to win the Trophy by clinching 62* in the final against India Blue.
Mandhana scored a 50 on her Test debut. That innings played a crucial hand in India’s historic Test win in England in 2014.
In the second ODI game of India’s tour of Australia in 2016, Mandhana went on to score her maiden international hundred (102 runs off 109 balls).
Smriti Mandhana was the only Indian player to be named in the ICC Women’s Team of the Year 2016.
At World Cup and WBBL
In September 2016, Smriti Mandhana signed a one-year deal with Brisbane Heat for the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) but after playing few matches she was ruled out of the rest of the tournament as a result of a nasty knee injury.
She missed the World Cup Qualifier and the Quadrangular Series in South Africa due to injury. She began the 2017 World Cup with a 90 against England in the first of the group matches. Mandhana helped her team win by 35 runs and was named the player of the match. She scored her second ODI hundred (106 not out) against West Indies.
Mandhana was part of the Indian team to reach the final of the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup where the team lost to England by nine runs.
In March 2018, she scored the fastest fifty against Australia in the women’s Tri-Nation Series, taking 30 balls to reach a half-century.
Smriti Mandhana has evolved as a player in recent times and has been the most consistent performer for the Indian team. With an eye on the future, India might look at Smriti Mandhana as the team’s captain.
In 2016 during a Women’s Big Bash League game playing for Brisbane Heat with whom she signed up a one-year deal, she turned to her right to field a ball, and her left boot got stuck in the turf as the rest of her body twisted. She crumpled to the ground, clutching her left knee in pain. Smriti had ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in the left knee. Her WBBL was over but the question on her mind was – will I be fit in time for the World Cup?
A surgery followed, and five months of intense rehab, most of which were spent at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
“The NCA was closed on weekends, so there would be no one there to bowl to her. So I travelled to the NCA from Sangli on weekends to help her train”, said Anant Tambwekar, her coach in Sangli.
“She wanted to get as much practice as possible in the short time she had.”
Mandhana’s name was announced in India’s World Cup squad, a vindication of the hard work she had put in to get fit in time for her first World Cup.
She started her 2017 World Cup journey with a bang – “The player of the match” for 90 against England in the first of the group matches. She scored her second ODI hundred (106 not out) against West Indies.
Lesser Known Facts about Smriti Mandhana
- She idolises Matthew Hayden and Kumar Sangakkara.
- She played with bat gifted by Rahul Dravid when she scored unbeaten 224 in West Zone U-19 Cricket League against Gujarat.
- She wears the same number jersey (18) as Virat Kohli.
- She is the brand ambassador for POWER brand of Bata.
- She is a big fan of fellow cricketer Jhulan Goswami and looks up to her as a role model.
Best International Cricketer – Women: BCCI Awards 2017-18
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