Smriti Mandhana, who scored a total of 196 runs in two group league matches in the ongoing ICC Women’s World Cup, draws her inspiration from Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara, revealed her Sangli coach Anant Tambvekar.
Following her elder brother’s footsteps, Smriti had joined Tambvekar’s coaching academy and moved to Sangli. Today, she plays for the women cricket team and is helping in India’s campaign at the World Cup. But she has not forgotten her coach, who used to scold her for copying her idol Sangakkara.
In an interview to One India, the coach said, “She has not forgotten me yet. After scoring the century in the group league match in the World Cup she called me from London, asked me whether she had made any technical mistake during her century. I did not expect a phone call from her.”
Talking about her discipline, Tambvekar said, “Smriti was very lively since her childhood. But at the nets, she was extremely disciplined. She never used to leave the nets unless she had mastered a shot. Later on, she became a fan of Kumar Sangakkara. In the nets, she always tried to copy Sangkara while batting. Sometimes I had scolded her for trying to copy the Sri Lankan great.”
“I have never seen Smriti being elated after a century or even after a match-saving performance. She always pretends nonchalant. Last week also, after scoring a century in the World Cup when Smriti called me, she was as usual nonchalant,” he added.