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Smriti Mandhana one of the toughest players to bowl, says Lea Tahuhu

The White Ferns' star is playing for Supernovas in the women's exhibition match.

Smriti Mandhana
Smriti Mandhana. (Photo: IANS)

It would not be entirely wrong to say that Smriti Mandhana is the flag-bearer for women’s cricket in this country and is fast becoming one of the best batsmen in the world. The left-handed batsman has not looked back since becoming an overnight sensation after her heroics in the 2017 World Cup. She has grown from strength to strength ever since then and is now looking set to create her own legacy in the game.

Mandhana won the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year 2018. She was also named as the ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year in addition to making it to the ICC Women’s ODI Team of the Year and the ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year.

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Mandhana scored 669 runs at an average of 66.90 in 12 ODIs and 622 runs at a strike-rate of 130.67 in 25 T20Is last year to finish 2018 as the leading batsman. She had also played a crucial role in India’s semifinal appearance at the ICC Women’s World T20 in the West Indies by scoring 178 runs in five matches.

Mandhana started 2019 on a similar note, helping India win the ODI series in New Zealand. She was also the leading run-scorer in the subsequent T20I series, scoring 180 runs in three innings, including two half-centuries. The southpaw then scored three fifties across the ODI and the T20 series during the home series against England. Mandhana has shown her form in the ongoing IPL women’s exhibition games too, scoring 90 for her side Trailblazers in the first game.

High praise for Smriti Mandhana

New Zealand star Lea Tahuhu now said Mandhana is one of the batswomen she finds tough to bowl to. Tahuhu is currently in India, playing for the Supernovas in the IPL women’s exhibition games. The fast-bowler also said that Australia allrounder Ellyse Perry, as well as her compatriot Suzie Bates, are also tough to bowl to.

“Mandhana has to be right up there. We’ve had some great battles of late. It’s hard to look past Ellyse Perry, given the form she’s been in for the past couple of years. Closer to home, [it would be] Suzie Bates; we have some wonderful duels in the nets and in the domestic tournaments around the world,” Tahuhu was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

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