'She can carry Indian women's game for a long time' - Gautam Gambhir backs Smriti Mandhana to lead national team in future

‘She can carry Indian women’s game for a long time’ – Gautam Gambhir backs Smriti Mandhana to lead national team in future

Like many, Gambhir was also impressed by the way Smriti batted in the Pink-ball Test.

Gautam Gambhir and Smriti Mandhana
Gautam Gambhir and Smriti Mandhana. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Smriti Mandhana has indeed made a name for herself in the past few years. The dashing opener can attack bowlers from the outset and her knack of playing big knocks makes her even more lethal. After giving tons of match-winning performances in white-ball cricket, Smriti showcased her class in the purest format as well.

In the recently concluded one-off women’s Test between India and Australia, the southpaw put up a batting exhibition and scored 127 at the Cannara Oval in Queensland. The game eventually ended in a draw but Mandhana’s masterclass became the talk of the town. Many prominent members of the cricket fraternity also heaped praises on the 24-year-old. Former Indian batter Gautam Gambhir is the latest one to join the bandwagon.

Like many, Gambhir was also impressed by the way Smriti batted in the Pink-ball Test. The cricketer-turned-commentator even feels the youngster can lead the national team in the future. “Just because she bats left-handed (like me), I am not biased towards Smriti Mandhana. I genuinely believe that along with a few others, she has a pair of shoulders that can carry the Indian women’s game for a long period,” Gambhir wrote in his column for the Times of India.

Smriti Mandhana is easy on the eye: Gautam Gambhir 

“Mandhana is easy on the eye, someone who has based her batting on timing rather than power. She operates in partnerships, can place the ball in gaps as if she is operating with a Google locator,” he added. Gambhir was also pleased by the fact that Smriti is still in contact with her childhood coach Anant Tambvekar. It was the coach’s wish that Mandhana should get three figures and she fulfilled it against the Aussies.

I liked the fact that Mandhana is still in touch with her childhood coach Anant Tambvekar,” Gambhir went on to write in his column. Sometimes, as the wheel of life gathers pace, it is easy to forget your roots but clearly the lady hasn’t. If I read the news article alright, the coach asked Mandhana to go for a ‘Big Daddy Hundred’ and she obliged during the pink-ball Test match against Australia,” Gautam Gambhir concluded.

With Mithali Raj, 38, being in the fag end of her career, BCCI would be planning to select her apt successor. Harmanpreet Kaur, captain of India’s T20I team, is the frontrunner to replace Mithali. Hence, it will be interesting to see when Mandhana can be seen leading the team.