Smriti Mandhana names this legendary left-handed batsman as her 'idol'
All of 22 years, Smriti Mandhana has already established herself as the most exciting batter in the current Indian women's team. The graceful left-hander has divulged her inspiration in the art of batting. Not surprisingly, it's another stylish southpaw.
Mandhana named legendary Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara as her 'idol'. Underlining her admiration for the technically accomplished stalwart, the Indian opener also referred to her practice of watching old batting videos of the elegant left-hander during challenging moments in her career thus far.
In an interview with bcci.tv, Mandhana affirmed, "I have been a huge fan of (Kumar) Sangakkara sir since I started watching cricket on the TV. Whenever I do not feel good about my batting, I go back and watch his clips."
Mandhana is currently taking the KIA Super League by storm. From seven innings, she has topped the batting charts by scoring as many as 387 runs at an impressive average of 77.40 and remarkable strike-rate of 185.16.
By virtue of her first T20 century, two fifty-plus scores and also a few vital cameos, Mandhana's rich vein of form has played an instrumental role in igniting Western Storm to the top of the table. The 2018 edition of the KIA Super League has also provided an opportunity for the aggressive batter to meet her favourite cricketer as well.
Much like his immensely productive playing career at all levels of the game, Sangakkara is also making a mark in the commentary box. An extensive knowledge of the game and a smooth diction have helped set him apart from his colleagues.
Opening up on her conversation with the batting icon, Mandhana quipped, "He (Sangakkara) was commentating on our game (in the KIA Super League) and I asked him ‘do you feel anything wrong in my batting which I can improve on?'
"He was like - ‘you are in a very good touch and if you are thinking too much about it then you will definitely not bat the way you are (batting at the moment). Just go out there, the way you are batting I do not think there is anything (to improve) there’. So that was something really good to know from a legend like Sangakkara sir, that he likes my batting, drives and all that stuff. That was a really good confidence booster for me and meeting your idol is always good."
With the 2018 Women's World T20 set to take place during November in the Caribbean, Mandhana expressed eagerness to carry her prolific form from the Super League into the international game. Terming her maiden T20 century as 'special', she also alluded to the importance of becoming familiar with the various bowlers on offer in the shortest format.