Smriti Mandhana, the stylish Indian opening batter has been among the most consistent run getters in women’s cricket over the last 5 years. Since making her international debut in 2013, the Maharashtra batter has grown in stature playing crucial knocks across formats. Let’s revisit 10 of Mandhana’s most impactful and match-defining innings in her impressive career so far:
Maiden ODI Ton (100* vs West Indies), 2013
A year after her India debut, the 17-year old Smriti Mandhana announced her arrival on the big stage with a sublime maiden ODI century against West Indies in 2013. She carried her bat remaining unbeaten on 100* off 104 balls even as India collapsed to 202 all out. Thanks to her heroics, India managed a tie in a tricky run chase. Mandhana displayed great temperament and skill in this innings.
Double Ton in Test Debut (214 vs England), 2021
During her debut Test appearance in 2021 away from home against England, Mandhana etched her name in record books with a supreme double hundred (214 off 244 balls). She smashed 35 fours and 2 sixes, to rescue India from a vulnerable position before declaring at an imposing 437. Though India lost the match, Mandhana’s stellar effort won her plaudits globally as she conquered the longest format too in such phenomenal fashion to kickstart her Test journey.
Player of the Match in 2018 T20 World Cup (83 vs Australia)
The 2018 T20 World Cup semi-final clash against defending champions Australia saw Mandhana lead India’s strong reply in a stiff chase of 173. She cracked 83 off just 48 balls taking on the Aussie bowlers, before India agonizingly lost the cliffhanger by 5 runs. Mandhana’s scintillating display under pressure earned her the Player of the Match award even in a losing cause and established her credibility as a T20 batting force too.
Scoring Big on English Soil (78 vs England), 2017
During India’s 2017 World Cup league game away from home against hosts England in Derby, opener Mandhana conquered tough English conditions by compiling a mature 78 off 76 balls guiding India to a competitive 282. Thanks to her admirable composure and focus against the moving ball, India posted a fighting total which set up their eventual 35-run victory to directly qualify for the semifinals.
Player of the Series in India’s Quadrangular Series Victory (168 runs @ 84 average), 2018
Smriti Mandhana aggregated a tournament high tally of 168 runs at an incredible average exceeding 84 during India’s Quadrangular Series triumph in South Africa early 2018. This included an unbeaten 80 off 56 balls in the final against the Proteas. Mandhana dominated the bowlers throughout the series on bouncy South African pitches on her way to clinching the Player of the Series award. Her consistency despite playing away established Mandhana as India’s batting mainstay across conditions.
ICC Cricketer of the Year award-winning Knocks (105 and 106 vs West Indies), 2019
The knocks which set the tone for Mandhana’s bagging the coveted ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year honour came against West Indies in 2019 on the Guyana featherbeds. She cracked twin centuries in consecutive games – 105 off 108 balls and 106 off 102 balls. Mandhana toyed with the Windies bowlers creaming 21 fours overall in these two innings combined, also forging a record 184-run opening stand with Jemimah Rodrigues in the second ODI.
Rescue Act after Top Order Collapse (102* vs England), 2021
Set 221 to win during the first ODI vs England at Hove in 2021, India suffered a top order implosion before Mandhana staged a remarkable turnaround with a sublime unbeaten 102 off 107 deliveries shepherding the chase. She displayed admirable game awareness and adaptability having countered challenging conditions after walking in to face a hat-trick delivery with India reeling at 19 for 4. This series proved pivotal for Mandhana’s ascension as one of the leading ODI willow wielders.
Fastest Fifty in Women’s T20 World Cup (40 ball 55 vs Bangladesh), 2023
During India’s massive 91 run group stage victory against Bangladesh in the 2023 T20 World Cup at Cape Town, vice-captain Mandhana flayed the bowlers into submission after India opted to bat first. She raced to the fastest fifty of the tournament reaching the mark in just 40 balls. Mandhana unfurled an array of sizzling pulls, cuts and lofted strokes, taking India to a formidable 163. Her whirlwind fifty formed the cornerstone of India’s resounding win.
Player of the Match in 2017 World Cup Opener (90 vs England)
The ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 curtain raiser saw India take on England. Batting first, Mandhana stamped her authority upfront with an aggressive 90 off 72 deliveries on a batting beauty at Derby. She gave India a flying start, taking the attack to the English bowlers as India posted 281. Though India lost a tight encounter, Mandhana earned the player of the match award for her exploits to commence her World Cup sojourn on a bright note.
Match-winning Partnership with Shafali Verma in T20 World Cup Final, 2023
The 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup final against arch rivals Pakistan witnessed vice-captain Mandhana forge a decisive opening wicket alliance worth 122 runs alongside young sensation Shafali Verma to steer India to an imposing total. Southpaw Mandhana was graceful as ever during her 78 ball 72 studded with 11 fours and a six. Though Verma stole the show with 97, Mandhana the senior pro’s experience and ice-cool temperament at the other end proved invaluable, as India triumphed in a last over thriller to clinch their maiden T20 world title.
Through the incredible consistency she has maintained across formats since 2013, elegant willow wielder Smriti Mandhana has long established herself as one of India’s greatest women batters. As her glittering career progresses steadily, here is looking forward to several more impactful performances and match-winning contributions from this champion southpaw going ahead.