Interview of Cricket Fans – 110 – SMRITI MANDHANA
J – Thank you for your participation in this interview, tell us your early memories of this sport.
First of all, thank you for this opportunity. My love for cricket started in 2011. None of my family members were interested in cricket, but we watched the 2011 world cup because it was held in India. I was a kid and could barely understand the game, but the whole tournament was a memorable one for me.
J – Now tell us your early memories of watching Smriti Mandhana play.
First time I saw her playing against England in the opening match of 2017 world cup, where she scored 90 runs off 72 balls. I was amazed by her domination on the field at such a young age and that innings made me fall in love with her batting.
And I saw her first time live at the stadium in March 2019, against England. She was the skipper of India and scored her first half-century as a captain. Definitely one of the best days of my life.
J – What made you a fan of her?
Well, it’s a really difficult question to answer. But as everyone knows ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 changed the landscape of women’s cricket in India and the perception of people in India has changed towards women’s cricket after that World Cup. Smriti played two crucial knocks in the first two games of that tournament, that helped India get off to a winning start. So I have to say that these two innings made me a fan of her.
But I became her die after her performance in 2018. She was unstoppable that year and won ICC women cricketer of the year and ODI player of the year award.
And apart from her batting, I love her calmness on the field and her down-to-earth nature. As a youngster and upcoming cricketer, she is the best role model I could’ve ever asked for.
J – She is the second-fastest Indian (women and men) to reach 2,000 ODI runs, third fastest in women’s cricket to get 2,000 ODI runs, how many more records do you feel she can break ahead?
At first, I want her to win a World Cup for India. And as a fan, I definitely want her to break every possible record and want to see her as the GOAT of Women’s Cricket.
J – How do you keep yourself motivated as a fan if Smriti has a bad match or a series or even a tournament?
Winning or losing, success or failure, all are part of the game. It’s as simple as that. Whenever she fails to score runs, she came back even better and stronger every time. And that’s enough to motivate me as a fan of Smriti Mandhana.
J – Shefali Verma and Smriti Mandhana as openers look quite threatening for the opposition, don’t you think?
“The song of ice and fire.” A mixture of elegance and aggression. Both of them have the ability to score runs quickly with a really good strike rate. So definitely they can be the most destructive opening duo in women’s T20Is.
J – If you got an opportunity to meet her in person, what would you ask her?
I would be very nervous and would probably freeze for some time, then ask her for a selfie and autograph. That’s it.
J – What is your all-time women’s XI?
Meg Lanning (c)
Sarah Taylor (wk)
But as I mentioned before, I’ve been following women’s cricket since 2016-17. So I am no one to comment on legends like Belinda Clark and Charlotte Edwards.
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