Indian women’s team head coach Ramesh Powar said that Indian opener Smriti Mandhana will definitely lead the team in future.
Mandhana made her debut for India back in 2013 and has emerged as one of their stupendous batters in the team. The southpaw has scored 4673 runs from 150 matches for India across all formats.
We are looking at Smriti Mandhana as a leader: Ramesh Powar
Mandhana slammed her maiden Test hundred against Australia in Queensland in the only Test between the two teams that ended in a draw. The flamboyant opener made 127 from 216 balls and pummelled 22 fours and a six in her incredible innings.
Powar said that the 25-year-old inspired a lot of players in the Indian team and will lead the side one day.
“We are looking at her as a leader. At some point, she will lead,” Powar said after the end of the series, as reported by news agency PTI.
“She inspires a lot of younger players in the team. So obviously, we will rate her highly. The way she batted in Test was amazing, especially under lights. So we knew she would come good,” Powar said, praising the T20 vice-captain.
Mandhana played for Southern Brave women’s team in the inaugural edition of the women’s Hundred. She will be playing for Sydney Thunder for the upcoming Women’s Big Bash League edition this month.
Powar talked about the consistency of the left-handed batter and also credited her stint in franchise cricket for her success in Indian colours.
“One season (of consistency), she will be a different player. She gets lots of game time playing in leagues across the world. And it becomes an advantage as in India you don’t get so much of game time,” Powar said.
We stand at a juncture where Mithali and Jhulan will phase out at some point: Ramesh Powar
Powar said that the team management tested young bowlers in the tour. They are also looking ahead to India’s future once stalwart players like Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami retire from the longer formats.
“You need characters to win World Cup. We stand at a juncture where Mithali and Jhulan will phase out at some point. So we tested young bowlers like Meghana Singh and Renuka Thakur. We wanted to test our players,” said the former India off-spinner,” Powar said.
Powar made it clear that no player should be complacent to their respective roles, citing it to leg-spinner Poonam Yadav’s omission after inconsistency with her performance.
“If you are not performing your role, you will be sidelined. We don’t allow someone to take their place for granted. The players who had to sit out were given proper chances,” the head coach said.
India women’s team lost both the white-ball series to Australia ODIs (1-2) and T20Is (0-2), but eight-team players, including Mandhana, will participate in WBBL 2021.