Mandhana, who is rated highly by the cricket experts, revealed in BBC podcast 'The Doosra' that chatting with Virat Kohli on various aspects of cricket had given her the motivation to perform better for the country. The talented opener recalled an instance when Kohli explained to her the importance of going to the gym and keeping herself fit. She elaborated that the Indian captain had emphasized on how the current crop of women cricketers could prove to be role models for the future generation.
Smriti Mandhana said:
"I spoke to Virat in New Zealand last year. Both of us had got the ICC award. He said 'Your team can do something in India that the men's team can't. That is change the culture of women in India and that you all as the team have a big role to play in future. Whenever you feel like missing a gym session think that you can inspire a generation of women to take up sports'."
Mandhana opined how a five or six-team women's IPL could take their game forward and bridge the gap between domestic cricket and the highly competitive international game.
"I'm sure a lot of IPL style matches will take place for a year or two. A five or six-team IPL for women will be great for Indian women's cricket especially for the World Cups... Women's cricket in Indian is growing massively, especially the domestic circuit... But there's still a lot of gap between international and domestic circuit which I think will be bridged in 2-3 years."
Virat Kohli praised the Indian women's team after the T20 WC loss
The heroic performance by the Indian women's cricket team at the ICC Women's T20 WC, held earlier this year in Australia, had drawn praise from all quarters of the cricketing fraternity. Indian skipper Virat Kohli had also taken to Twitter to applaud the efforts of the women's team for their path-breaking journey to the World Cup finals, a match they eventually lost to the host nation. The final match had turned out to be a historic occasion, with the presence of more than 90,000 spectators at the MCG to cheer the two teams.