India’s left-hand opener Smriti Mandhana has been in a blistering form from the last year.
Smriti Mandhana has been performing well from their first series of ICC Women’s Championship (2017-21) against South Africa, last year in February.
Last year started with her career-best 135 against South Africa. From there to scoring match-winning knocks back to back in the two matches against White Ferns certainly proves her worth in the team. She is an integral part of the squad and enjoys batting away from home.
Recently India clinched the series against White ferns; where she scored 195 runs in two matches. 105 in the first one and an unbeaten 90 in the second match. She has the best batting average in away ODIs, surpassing former player Karen Rolton, Australia captain Meg Lanning and her teammate as well as her captain in ODI format Mithali Raj.
|Best batting averages in away ODIs (min. 500 runs)|
|Smriti Mandhana (IND)||14||905||
|Karen Rolton (AUS)||62||2509||53.38|
|Meg Lanning (AUS)||25||1173||53.31|
|Laura Wolvaardt (SA)||13||602||50.16|
|Mithali Raj (IND)||72||2574||45.96|
So far, Mandhana has played only 14 One Day Internationals outside India and most of the time she scored big knocks for India. She has scored minimum 50 runs in her last 10 ODI innings. She even scored more sixes (14) and fours (102) than anyone else from the last year. Her last 10 ODI scores as follows: 67, 52, 86, 42, 53*, 73*, 14, 51, 105, 90*. Her swashbuckling form earned her 2018’s ICC Cricketer of the year.
The left-handed opener is the only Indian woman player to smash four centuries in successive calendar years. She is also the second player to score most centurions amongst Indians. Mandhana has four centuries to her name and placed second only after India ODI captain Mithali Raj who has seven centuries to her name. India T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur is the third on the list with three centuries.
Mandhana also has the record of taking the most number of innings’ to get her first duck (31) amongst Indian cricketers. She was awarded the ‘Player of The Match’ for the second time for her stormy 90*. From the coaches, commentators to players, everyone felt that the pitch was a bit slow. India Captain Mithali Raj too thought that the pitch was a difficult pitch to score quick runs and it required patience to get runs. But Mandhana scored smoothly on that pitch as well.
Since August 1, 2017, India opener leads the list of highest run-scorer in ODIs, smashing 864 runs at an average of 78.54. New Zealand’s experienced all-rounder Sophie Devine placed second on the list with 735 runs at an average of 73.50. The third place belongs to Lizelle Lee of South Africa,
Since 1 Aug 2017.. in Women's ODI
864 – Smriti Mandhana (Ind) (ave 78.54)
735 – Sophie Devine (NZ) (73.50)
565 – Lizelle Lee (SAf) (47.08)
558 – Tammy Beaumont (Eng) (50.72)
547 – Suzie Bates (NZ) (49.72)
500 – Dane van Niekerk (SAf) (55.55)
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) January 29, 2019
After receiving the player of the match award, Mandhana praised the bowlers and said that she felt bowlers deserved the credit for restricting the White Ferns to a below-par score.
“It feels great but I think our bowlers deserved the player of the match award more than me. I will give it away to our bowlers, they did a great job to restrict New Zealand on a good wicket.”
“162 was a very easy total to chase. I will be giving this award to all the bowlers in the team. They deserve it for restricting New Zealand to 161 on such a good wicket,” Mandhana further said.
Yet another day and yet another half century for @mandhana_smriti, her eighth in the last 10 innings.
— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) January 29, 2019
She further said that she felt the wicket was like an Indian wicket on the second game and credited the BCCI for the 10-day camp in Napier prior to the series.
“I thought today was an Indian wicket more than the New Zealand conditions. We had a camp before the first one-day for 10 days. BCCI has done really good to give us 10 days camp at Napier and we could get acclimatised to the conditions,” Mandhana said.
India will face White Ferns in their last ODI match on Friday at Seddon Park, Hamilton.