The 21-year-old Indian batter Smriti Mandhana created quite a stir within the cricketing fraternity after her two brilliant knocks during India’s World Cup campaign in England, with many comparing her batting techniques to former Indian cricketer Sourav Ganguly.
However, in an interview with Sportstar, Smriti revealed that it is the former Sri Lanka skipper, Kumar Sangakkara, who motivates her.
“Whenever I feel that I am not batting the way I should, I watch videos of Kumar Sangakkara. I like his batting style”, said Smriti.
However, she was quick to point, “I also admire Ganguly, but it is Sangakkara that I relate to. I haven’t really watched Ganguly bat a lot in my young days, whereas, Sangakkara has been an inspiration.”
The opener, who during her initial days copied the batting style of his brother,
Shravan Mandhana, watches videos of the Sri Lankan legend when things go awry.
“I try and play a cover drive like Sangakkara. Earlier, I used to copy my brother’s batting style. But watching Sangakkara’s batting videos give me a fair bit of idea on how I should improve,” Smriti said.
When asked what will she do when she meets her inspiration, Smriti said, “I have never met him, though I really want to. Trust me, the day I meet him, I will only talk to him about batting.”
Humbled by the ecstatic batswoman’s statement, Sangakkara wrote a text message for her, stating, “Please convey to Smriti my thanks for mentioning my name. I was humbled to have been mentioned by such a wonderful player as she is.”
When the message was passed to Smriti, she was as expected pretty delighted. “Please thank him on my behalf,” the young sensation responded back.