Former India women’s skipper Shantha Rangswamy has said that opening batter Smriti Mandhana is the ideal candidate to lead the Indian team after current ODI and Test skipper Mithali Raj retires from the game. Raj will be leading the team in the 50-over World Cup to be played in New Zealand in March and April 2022 and this could her last assignment.
Raj has captained the team since 2004 and has a terrific win percentage. India has won 60.71 per cent of games across formats under her leadership. She has captained the side in 143 games and the team has won 85, lost 55 and three games had no results.
She has also led the team in the 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2017 ODI World Cups. The Women In Blue have played two finals in 2005 and 2017 and lost to Australia and England respectively.
The upcoming World Cup might be her last chance to win an ICC trophy for the team. Meanwhile, former India skipper Shantha Rangaswamy has said that Smriti Mandhana would be an ideal candidate to lead the team after Raj retires from the game.
Smriti Mandhana The Right Choice After Mithali Raj: Shantha Rangaswamy
“Smriti is the ideal choice after Mithali retires. She has been an excellent performer for India and should be given the opportunity to lead the country,” Shantha, who led India to their first-ever Test win back in 1976, told PTI.
Smriti Mandhana has represented India in 62 ODIs, 84 T20Is and four Tests. In ODIs, she has amassed 2377 runs at an average of 41.70 with four hundred and 19 fifties. In T20Is, the Smriti Mandhana has accumulated 1971 runs at an average of 25.93 with 14 half-centuries.
In four Tests she played, the opening batter has scored 325 runs at an average of 46.42 with one century and two half-centuries. In September, she smashed her first Test ton against Australia in a one-off Test.
Harmanpreet Kaur is currently leading the T20I side. She recently participated in the Women’s Big Bash League and amassed 406 runs for Melbourne Renegades at an average of 58 with three fifties.
Meanwhile, Rangaswamy has added that the recently concluded Women’s Challenger Trophy indicates that there is no dearth of talents in the nation and shows India is ready for Women’s IPL.
“The event has unearthed a lot of talent which augurs well for women’s cricket. It also shows that we are ready for a Women’s IPL,” Rangaswamy added.
India’s next assignment ahead of the World Cup will be the three-match ODI series against hosts New Zealand.