Smriti Mandhana has justified the faith of selectors in fine fashion as the opener has already played two match-winning knocks for India women’s cricket team in the ongoing ICC Women’s World Cup 2017. After a 90 in the opening game against England, the left-hander smashed an unbeaten hundred against West Indies on Thursday.
An injury kept her out of action since January but she slowly found her touch back in the practice games before the World Cup. The opener is not done yet and insists there is more to come from her willow.
“It’s not over yet but I’m really happy that I’ve made a good comeback after the injury. The first match, back in the practice match against England, I was really off-touch and I was very nervous,” Mandhana was quoted by ICC.
“After that I scored 82 not out against the West Indies in a practice match so that gave me confidence that my batting was not lost. I can bat!
“It was really tough coming out of the injury but I’m really happy I’ve done enough in two matches for India and hopefully I can continue that form. I was determined to do well to show (the selectors) that they made the correct decision,” said Mandhana after slamming her second century in 25 ODIs.
Mandhana prefers English conditions, and she played her part during India’s Test win in England back in 2014. She was just 18 then. She smartly used the six-month absence from the game to her advantage.
“I love the conditions here, I love playing in cold weather. It makes me happy inside. They prepare good pitches. It’s not that I don’t like playing in India, but I like playing here more. I just concentrate on my game, there’s no TV and nothing to distract you so that helps me concentrate on cricket. While I was injured I made sure that I worked on my weaknesses. Many people have seen my game so I worked on that.
“I tried not to play too many shots because I had a habit of playing too many shots after getting set. That was the thing I worked on in the last two or three months.”
With Pakistan next, Mandhana reiterates that there is more to come and she will stop only after winning the World Cup for her country.
She added: “I’m not satisfied at all, I haven’t worked really hard for the last five months to get fit just for a 90 or a hundred. I want to do well for India and win the World Cup for India. That’s what I’ve been craving for the last five months.
“That’s what keeps me going after 50 because I had a tendency to get out after 50 so that’s what I keep telling myself so I hope I continue the same form.”