Smriti Mandhana, one of the finest women cricketers from India produced of-late, proved to be one of the mainstays for the blue-brigade, along with Harmanpreet Kaur.
Teenage sensations, Shafali Varma and Jemimah Rodrigues have only made the Indian batting order formidable at the world stage.
The Indian women’s team performance during the T20 World Cup in Australia is evidence of the bright future – the young squad has at their disposal.
During a recent interaction, Mandhana opened up on the inspirational advice she received from India’s men’s team captain Virat Kohli.
The swashbuckler from Sangli recently talked to former England cricketer Isa Guha, revealing details of their first conversation.
In Mandana’s words, Kohli told her about the opportunity she has to transform women’s cricket in India, a chance which the men’s team never had.
Kohli himself brought about a considerable transformation as far as fitness regime is concerned in the Indian team. Thanks to Kohli, Indian team fields one of the fittest playing XI in all forms of the game.
As a result, India’s fielding standards, running between the wickets and bowler’s longevity in spells have improved drastically.
Accordingly, Kohli expected Mandhana to inspire a generation of women to take up the sport as a profession in India, during their first meeting.
“He told me that your team (women’s team) can do something in India which the men’s team cannot do, that is to change the culture for women in India,” Mandhana told Guha, during a BBC podcast ‘The Doosra’.
“Whenever you feel like missing a gym session, just think that you can actually inspire a generation of women in India to take up sports not only cricket,” added Mandhana.
Mandhana was also one of the first few cricketers to have bagged the contract for the Women’s Big Bash League, along with Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy.