Smriti Mandhana, The New Cricketing Sensation On The Block
Smriti's family has cricket in their blood. Her father played at the district level while her brother featured in the Under-16 state team of Maharashtra.
Lauded by the world and consistently praised by her captain Mithali Raj, who happens to be the second-ranked batsmen in international women's cricket, Smriti Mandhana is taking the world by storm. She has been in remarkable form in the ongoing ICC Women's World Cup 2017, starring in India's consecutive wins in the tournament. At the age of 20, Smriti is one of the youngest players to feature in international cricket for women but has shown maturity at the crease far beyond her years. As the Indian cricket fans looked towards skipper Mithali to take the team far into the tournament, it is the young opener who has stolen the show.
Smirti got off to a dream World Cup debut when she scored 90 runs off 73 deliveries with a strike rate of 125 against England in India's tournament opener. In the next match, the left-hander smashed her second ODI century, scoring 106 runs off just 108 balls, which included 13 boundaries and two huge sixes, to help her team thrash the current World T20 champions, the West Indies.
It might be early times in the tournament but her performances has seen rise to second in the list of the top runner getter list for the event, being hosted by England.
Born on 18th July, 1996 in Bombay, Smriti's family has cricket in their blood. Her father played at the district level while her brother featured in the Under-16 state team of Maharashtra.
Smriti was selected in the Under-15 team of Maharashtra at the tender age of nine and in the Under-19 state team at the age of eleven. She grabbed the eyeballs when she became the first Indian woman to score a double-hundred during a West Zone Under-19 50-over match against Gujarat.
Her performances in domestic cricket didn't go unnoticed and soon she made her ODI debut in April 2013 against Bangladesh. However, Smriti had to bide her time when it came to donning the India whites. She made her Test debut against England in August 2014, where she scored a solid 51.
She quickly started making waves in international cricket as well. In 2016, she became one of only two Indian players to be signed in Australia's Big Bash League (BBL) when she turned up for Brisbane Heat. She also became the only Indian player to be named in the ICC Women's Team of 2016.
With 897 runs under her belt -- including two hundreds and six fifties in 25 ODIs, 424 runs in 27 T20s -- Smriti is the new poster girl of Indian cricket.