Smriti Mandhana on World T20: WBBL exposure will help Team India

India opener Smriti Mandhana is not too stressed about the upcoming ICC World T20, she wants to approach the showpiece event like any other tournament.

India batswoman Smriti Mandhana at the Sportstar Aces Awards 2020 in Mumbai on Monday.   -  R. RAGU

 

One-and-a-half years ago in the Caribbean, the Indian women’s cricket team had crashed out of the ICC World T20 after losing the semifinal to England. The 2020 edition, starting February 21 in Australia, will be a fresh start for the eves. They will be keen to make amends.

Opener Smriti Mandhana, who has a strike-rate of 117.01 and 10 T20I fifties under her belt, is not too stressed this time around. She believes the experience gained from Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) and Kia Super League will be useful once the side starts its campaign Down Under.

“The exposure that we get playing the other big leagues help. We understand a lot about the T20I format. And specially you get to play all the bowlers before hand, before appearing in the World Cup. Having played the WBBL, we will know the conditions better, specially Harman [Harmanpreet Kaur] and I. We will be able to pass on the knowledge to the youngsters,” she told Sportstar on the sidelines of the Aces Awards 2020 here.

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The 23-year-old left-hander wants to approach the mega event like any other tournament. “This time, I have kept it quite simple. I don’t really need to stress myself with the thought that there is a World Cup. I want to be calm and composed.

“I am just going to play a cricket tournament to enjoy my batting. That’s the key thing which has given me success and I will try to do that in the World Cup too,” said Mandhana, who won the Sportswoman of the Year (Cricket) for the second year in a row.

Mandhana is aware of the World Cup buzz in India and beyond. “It’s a big year for women’s cricket. The way Cricket Australia has brought this World Cup up, we expect a lot of crowd [at the stadiums]."

Last time, the Mithali Raj - Ramesh Powar fallout had led to a bitter environment in and around the dressing room.

It remains to be seen if the script goes India's way in the upcoming edition of the tournament with former India international W.V. Raman as coach. The women in blue will, however, miss the seasoned Mithali, who retired from T20Is last September.