As the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup will start from February 21, India are not just one of the strongest teams for the mega event but the presence of youngsters also makes them the happiest team in the tournament as well, says India opener Smriti Mandhana.
The Indian squad’s average age is under 23. Ahead of the tournament opener against Australia here on Friday, Mandhana jokingly said that only debutants Thailand can give them a tough competition when it comes to having fun as this Indian team loves to have fun.
“This group really knows how to have fun. It’s about making the young players feel comfortable and I’ve become one with them. We have a lot of dances, a lot of singing and a lot of things that happen,” Mandhana was quoted as saying by the ICC.
“I think we’re the happiest team at the World Cup – although Thailand might give us some competition,” she added.
However, the leader of the youngsters is none other than Jemimah Rodrigues, who is known for her funny videos and she is also a great guitar player. One would often see them having fun in the dressing room as well.
“You can think of the vibe if you see the age of our team. With that kind of age group, there has to be fun and if there’s no fun there’s something wrong with the girls. It’s been like that for the last one or two years. I won’t say it wasn’t like that in the years before but since the teenagers have come, there is a different energy,” said the 23-year-old Smriti Mandhana.
“Young players come into it with fresh thinking, they don’t have anything behind them. They know nothing. They’re very different people to we were when we came into the side at 17. They are very fearless, they don’t have a lot of pressure on them,” added the flamboyant opener.
The teenagers — Jemimag Rodrigues, Shafali Verma and newly added Richa Ghosh are expected to contribute immensely to the high spirit event.