The name Smriti Mandhana does not require any introduction among the cricket followers in our country. Smriti was born on 18th July 1996 to Smitha and Srinivas Mandhana in Maharashtra.
She comes from a family that has a deep cricketing background with her father playing for Sangli at the district level and brother playing for Maharashtra under 16. Her family used to provide her full support for pursuing cricket as her career right from the start.
After class 10, Mandhana wanted to pursue science, but her mother convinced to take commerce as it would help her to handle both studies and cricket together.
She has played 51 ODI’s, 75 T20’s and 2 Test matches for India with batting averages of 43.08, 25.23, and 27 respectively. She currently dons the number 18 jersey, the same number as of Virat Kohli during international matches. Mandhana idolizes Kumara Sangakkara and Mathew Hayden.
Now, let’s see her story in detail.
The Beginning – Domestic Career
At the very early age of 9, Mandhana was selected for playing in the Under-15 Maharashtra squad. She also got selected in the Under-19 Maharashtra squad at the age of 11. She scored three centuries and an unbeaten double century against Gujarat U-19 at Vadodara in the interstate U-19 one day competition. Her consistent performance in the Under-19 tournaments helped in getting the call for Women’s challenger trophy.
Mandhana made her T20 debut in the game against Bangladesh in April 2013. On 30th November 2014, she scored her first T20 half-century against South Africa in Bangalore. Her consistent performance made sure that she was a part of the T20 world cup team from 2014 to 2020. Mandhana became the youngest T20 captain for India in February 2019 against England when Harmanpreet Kaur was ruled out due to an ankle injury. In 2018, Smriti was in her best scoring 622 runs in 23 innings with an average of 28.27. She was also a part of the Indian team which emerged runners up in the 2020 T20 world cup.
Smriti made her ODI debut just 5 days after T20 debut. She played her first ODI on 10th April 2013 against Bangladesh. Mandhana scored her first half-century in a match against Sri Lanka at Vishakhapatnam. She scored her maiden ODI ton against Australia in 2016. The cricketer has scored 4 centuries and 17 half-centuries in ODI in which all the four has come overseas. The southpaw scored her first world cup century against West Indies in 2017 where she went on to score 108 balls 106 which consisted of 13 fours and 2 sixes.
Test – The Longer Format
One year after making her ODI and T20 debut, Smriti stepped on to test cricket. She made her debut in England against the host team in August 2014. She scored 22 in the first innings and went on to score a half-century in the second which ultimately India won. Smriti played just 2 test matches in her career and scored a total of 81 runs.
Smriti Career Stats
Now, let’s have a look into the impressive batting stats for the Southpaw
Women’s Big Bash League
In September 2016, Mandhana signed up for a one-year deal with Brisbane Heat in the WBBL. She was not at her best with scoring mere 89 runs in her 10 innings. She was asked to bat at number 5 or 6 position which is not what she is used to.
To make matters worse, she ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee while playing against Melbourne Renegades in January 2017. She worked hard to regain fitness and eventually getting selected for India’s World cup squad.
Mandhana played for Hobart Hurricanes in the 2018-19 season. Hurricanes benefitted by making her play higher in the order. Smriti scored 318 runs in 13 matches at an average of 24.46 and a strike rate of 144.54. She finished as the second-highest run-scorer for the Hurricanes.
Women’s T20 challenge
Smriti was appointed as the captain for the Trailblazers team for the 2019 Women’s T20 challenge. In the first match, Trailblazers defeated Supernovas by 2 runs. Mandhana was adjudged the Man of the match for her magnificent innings of 90 runs from mere 67 balls. She scored at a strike rate of 134.33 at a relatively slower pitch. They lost their second match against velocity and were not able to reach the finals.
Awards and accomplishments
Let’s have a quick look at some of the awards and achievements bagged by the talent cricketer.
- Arjuna Award for Cricket, 2018
- Sportswoman of the Year (Cricket) at the Sportster ACES Awards 2020
- Wisden India Almanack Cricketer of the year
- 2018 Women’s Cricketer of the Year
- 2018 Women’s ODI Player of the Year
- Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award, 2018
- Selected for 2019 ICC Women’s ODI Team of the Year
- Chosen for 2019 ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year
Mandhana’ s family is intimately involved in her cricketing activities and supported her well which took her to such a level. Although she was born in Mumbai, she moved to Madhavnagar, Sangli at the age of two.
Both her father and brother, Shravan, played cricket for Sangli at the district-level which inspired her to take up cricket. Her father Shrinivas, a chemical distributor, takes care of her cricket program while her mother Smita is in charge of her diet, clothing, and other organizational aspects. Her brother Shravan still bowls to her in the nets. Smriti graduated in Bcom from Chintaman Rao college of commerce in Sangli.
- Smriti has a bat that has been gifted by Rahul Dravid, which she treasures the most.
- She is the brand ambassador for Bata’s sportswear “Power”. She has also been appointed as the brand ambassador for “Alcon”, a division of Novartis.
- Smriti was also the brand ambassador of first Women’s T20 blind cricket tournament held from 15th to 19th December 2019 in Delhi.
- She was the first Indian player to play in Kia super league. She signed for Western Storm.
- Her Facebook page has a total of 969 K likes at present, and her Twitter account has 542 K followers.