After years of struggle, the Indian women's cricket team finally seems to be getting the recognition it deserves. At the grassroots level, young girls are being encouraged to pick up and sport and the effects of this change can be felt on the international stage as well.
The Women in Blue have reached the finals of the 2020 T20 World Cup and the 2017 ODI World Cup, only to fall at the final hurdle. Despite the heartbreaking losses, many young women like Shafali Verma have given fans enough confidence that the team is in good hands.
Although the women's game isn't necessarily known for big hitting, two double centuries have been achieved in ODI cricket - Amelia Kerr's 232* and Belinda Clark's 229*
In this article, we take a look at 3 Indians who were in with a shot to become the country's first-ever double centurion in ODI cricket.
#3 Smriti Mandhana, 135
The ICC Women's Championship is a tournament conducted with the purpose of determining the participating teams of the next World Cup. In 2018, India took on South Africa at Kimberley with qualification to the 2021 World Cup on their minds.
After being put in to bat by South Africa on a slow track, Smriti Mandhana made merry against an insipid bowling attack consisting of Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk, among others. The elegant opener scored 135 runs off just 129 balls to take India to a massive total of 303.
Mandhana was stumped with just under 7 overs to spare, and with wickets in hand and a set platform, she could have capitalised on the wayward bowling to get close to a double hundred. It was not to be, although the left-hander hit 14 fours and 1 six in her long vigil at the crease.
The total proved far too high for South Africa to chase, as the spin trio of Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, and Deepti Sharma wreaked havoc to bowl them out for just 124, resulting in a 178-run victory for the Indians.