When she hits the ball it stays hit. Both her drives and lofted shots travel with a lot of heat and this southpaw is already recognised as one of the most explosive openers in the international women’s cricket circuit. Be it the longer format, ODIs or the slam-bang T20 fixture, she believes in whacking the ball.

Meet the 20-year-old Smriti Mandhana, who laid the platform with a quick-fire 44 in >India’s commanding win in the second match of the three-match series against West Indies, at Mulapadu on Sunday.

Next month will be special for the bespectacled opener for >she will be playing in the second edition of Women’s Big Bash League at Sydney in December, representing the Brisbane Heat. The other player to earn a slot in the overseas players’ quota from India is >Harmanpreet Kaur , who will be representing Sydney Thunder.

“I am looking forward to play on the pacey and bouncy wickets Down Under. The participation will be a learning curve as I can learn a lot watching talented bunch of players playing against each other,” Smriti told Sportstar at Mulapadu.

Smriti said her role with Brisbane Heat will be that of an opener and she will get a clear picture once she speaks to the coach and skipper of the franchisee.

“I do not think a lot while in the middle. I like to play the balls according to merit and I love playing big strokes which come to me naturally. If I start curbing my stroke-play I end up playing indiscreet strokes,” she pointed out.

Smriti admitted that there were frequent advices on ‘not to play too many strokes’ but never any curb on her big strokes attitude. “Both my skipper and coach encourage me to play my natural game”.

“For me the most important thing is nets. If I am playing well in the nets, I will not worry about anything. If I falter at nets than I give it a serious thought.”

The young girl felt that the introduction of women’s form of Indian Premier League will do a whale of good to the cricketers in the country. She was also of the opinion that Indian players should keep an eye on fitness as a variety of tournaments were added to the international circuit. “I spend one hour in the gym daily.”

In fact, Smriti’s maiden hundred at Hobart early this year against Australia impressed the opposition players, who recommended her for the Big Bash.