The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 is underway and India Women started their journey with a huge win over the hosts Australia. It was a superb effort from Deepti Sharma, who scored 49* with the bat and Poonam Yadav, who finished with the match-winning figures of 4/19 in 4 overs. A total team effort from the India Women helped secure a thrilling win by 17 runs against the hosts.
Smriti Mandhana had a rare failure with the bat in the first game, but she still managed to get all the appreciation for her achievements all over the years. Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris had words full of praise for her as he compared her to India’s run-machine Virat Kohli. Madhana might not have upped the ante in the T20 World Cup opener against Australia but has all the ingredients of a world-class cricketer.
Styris, who is part of the commentary panel in this World Cup said during Australia vs India clash:
“She’s (Smriti Mandhana) the Virat Kohli of women’s cricket. And will be remembered as someone who changed women’s cricket much like Viv Richards did a long time ago in men’s cricket.”
It was not surprising for Mandhana to get the highest of respect as she is a consistent player since the last few years for India women’s team. In 2018, she was named the best Women’s International Cricketer. In December 2018, the global cricket body, ICC awarded her with the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for the best female cricketer of the year. In fact, she was also named the ODI Player of the Year by the ICC at the same time.
Smriti Mandhana grabbed the headlines first back in 2013 when she scored a double hundred and become the first-ever Indian woman to do so. Playing for Maharashtra against Gujarat, she slammed an unbeaten 224 off 150 balls in the West Zone Under-19 Tournament, at the Alembic Cricket Ground in Vadodara.
The 23-year old also made a big name for herself in the 2016 Women’s Challenger Trophy. She scored three half-centuries for India Red in as many games and helped her team win the Trophy by scoring an unbeaten 62 off 82 balls in the final against India Blue. Mandhana finished the tournament as the leading run-scorer of the tournament with 192 runs.