I am looking forward very much to working with the Australian girls in the Heat squad after playing against them last season: Following the footsteps of Harmanpreet Kaur, who was signed by Sydney Thunders for the Big Bash League, another women’s Team India cricketer has joined the bandwagon.
Smriti Mandhana, the technically sound opener, became the second Indian player to be signed for the Australian T20 league. Following the NOC provided by BCCI, the 20-year old signed a contract for one year with Brisbane Heat.
Speaking to Cricket Australia, the Team India batswoman who had a great outing in the maiden T20I series against Australia, earlier this year, said, “I am looking forward very much to working with the Australian girls in the Heat squad after playing against them last season.”
“That was a good series, and I noticed there was a definite difference between their preparation and our preparation so I am keen to learn from the differences.”
“Things like fitness and how they train for a series like the WBBL and the way they work on their fielding are areas I am interested in. It will be exciting to live in a different city and meet new people as well as travel around Australia again.”
Mandhana, who came to international limelight in 2014 when she made a half-century in India’s historic Test win over England in Wormsley, has featured in 20 T20Is between 2013 and 2016, notching up 321 runs at an average of 18.18 with 52 as her highest score.
Ten of her T20I matches were played in 2016 in which she scored 183 runs at an average of 22.87 with an unbeaten 43* as her individual best, which she scored against Sri Lanka.
She has also represented India in 2 Test matches and 20 ODIs. She has also scored a century (102 runs) in the 50-over format.
Further speaking to Cricbuzz, the youngster said, “It feels great to be a part of Big Bash. I”ve always been looking forward to playing in that tournament. And getting this opportunity to participate at such a young age and getting to gain good experience from it, will help me immensely in the future. I”m very fortunate to have been signed with them.
Playing against Australia in India”s first-ever T20I series win against the hosts in the shortest format of the game, she notched up crucial knocks of 29 and 22* at the Adelaide Oval and Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) respectively. Her only fifty in the T20I format came in 2014 against South Africa Women.