I don’t like being compared because what Virat Kohli has achieved has been great: Smriti Mandhana

Under the leadership of Smriti Mandhana, Royal Challengers Bangalore won their first championship as they defeated Delhi Capitals in the WPL 2024 final on Sunday, March 17.

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Smriti Mandhana
Smriti Mandhana (Photo Source - RCB )

Smriti Mandhana led Royal Challengers Bangalore to their maiden title as they defeated Delhi Capitals in the finals of the Women's Premier League (WPL) 2024 on Sunday, March 17, at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.

Apart from receiving plaudits for her performances with the bat and as the leader of the side, Mandhana has been compared to the legendary Virat Kohli. The former India captain has been with the Royal Challengers Bangalore since the commencement of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008 and is the highest run-getter in the history of the competition. He also led the team from 2013 to 2021. However, the coveted title has eluded him.

Mandhana expressed her disapproval of the comparisons with the Delhi batter. She called Kohli an 'inspiration' and lauded him for his remarkable achievements over the last 16 years.

“Title is one thing, but the other No.18 has achieved a lot for India and that is a big thing. So, I don’t think the comparison is right in terms of where my career is and what he has already achieved,” Mandhana was quoted as saying by India Today.

“I don’t like being compared because what he has achieved has been great; he has been an inspirational person. The title doesn’t define a lot of things. We all respect him and I feel like the respect in Indian cricket has to be right up there for Virat,” she said.

Also Read: 'Would you now go and give a pep talk to the men's team on how to win?' - Aakash Chopra puts Smriti Mandhana in a spot

Mandhana wears No. 18 on her jersey, the same number that Kohli uses. Last month, the southpaw said that the jersey number is just a personal choice. She asserted that having identical jersey numbers has nothing to do with how two cricketers go about their game.

“So, there’s nothing different for me. I would not really term it as 18 and 18. Jersey number is just a personal choice, and it doesn’t define how he plays his cricket and how I play mine,” she added.

Meanwhile, Kohli has joined the RCB camp ahead of IPL 2024. He recently opted out of the five-match Test series between India and England citing personal reasons. Later, he announced the birth of his second child, Aakay Kohli.

The 35-year-old had an excellent season with the bat last year as he finished as the fourth-highest run-getter with 639 runs from 14 matches at a staggering average of 53.25. However, the Bangalore-based franchise narrowly missed out on a playoff berth. RCB fans will hope 'King Kohli' once again gets among the runs and helps them win their first IPL title. They begin their campaign on Friday, March 22 with a clash against defending champions Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk.

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