Top cricketer Smriti Mandhana is prepping to make her international captaincy debut during the India vs England T20I that follows the ongoing series of ICC Women’s Championship ODIs. Mandhana has been appointed skipper after Harmanpreet Kaur, the designated T20I captain, took a break from the series because of an ankle injury.
The 22-year-old batswoman has played 106 games for India till now, including 55 in the shortest format
She had earlier captained for the domestic circuit, which include leading her state side Maharashtra, West Zone, and India Blue to the Challenger Trophy title in January 2018. More recently, she led the Board President’s XI against England squad in a warm-up game at Wankhede Stadium.
This is turning out to be a great year for Mandhana. She made it to the ‘Forbes India 30 Under 30’ list, India’s sixth edition featuring 30 young achievers in various fields like, sports, entertainment, marketing, entrepreneurship, etc. She has also moved up three spots to attain the number one rank in the updated ICC ODI batting rankings. Her recent stint was scoring her fourth ODI century and an unbeaten 90 in the three-match series against New Zealand.
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With her extraordinary run-scoring season, Smriti Mandhana is one cricketer who has steadily made a mark in women’s cricket. The batswoman is the first Indian to feature in England’s flagship T20 tournament for women. She scored an unbeaten 52 off 19 balls against Loughborough Lightning, creating a new record.
Mandhana is only the second Indian woman to win an International Cricket Council award, fast bowler Jhulan Goswami being the first one who was named as women’s player of the year in 2007
On her debut, Mandhana almost pulled off the fastest 50 in KSL’s history. She smashed as many as five sixes and three boundaries in that innings. In March last year, she smashed the fastest 50 ever scored by any Indian player in women’s T20I cricket. She achieved this in the opening innings against England in the third match of the women’s T20 tri-series at Brabourne Stadium.
Meanwhile, Veda Krishnamurthy, the middle-order batsman who missed out on the tour of New Zealand after poor returns at the World T20, came back in full swing this time. Left-arm fast bowler Komal Zanzad replaced Mansi Joshi, while the batting pair of Priya Punia and D Hemalatha were left out in favour of Harleen Deol and Bharati Fulmali.
Congrats to the feisty cricketer!