Winning the World Cup the ‘major goal’ for World No. 1 Smriti Mandhana

Winning the T20 series against England is of primary importance, says the stand-in captain.

Smriti Mandhana has been in good form of late.   -  AP

Smriti Mandhana drove and cut her way serenely to the top of world ranking last month. To become the ICC’s No. 1 batswoman was a goal she had set for herself, she said here on Sunday. But, she has a bigger goal.

“As a batter, to reach the No. 1 position is the most important thing, and reaching there was really pleasing, but now I have to work harder as staying there is more important,” she said, on the eve of India's first Women’s T20I against England. “But my major goal definitely is to win the World Cup.”

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About captaining India for the first time, she felt there wasn’t much change, in the way she approached a match. “As a vice-captain for the last two years, I have been attending all the team meetings,” she said.

“I already have known what we would before a match even when I was not the captain. The only new thing could be that I would have to speak to the bowlers more.”

She said the BCCI’s decision to take international women’s cricket to smaller venues was brilliant. “It was great to play the one-day series against Australia front of huge crowds at Vadodara last year,” she said.

“The reception we have received here too has been amazing.”

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Her counterpart Heather Knight too sounded happy about her team having made to the front pages. Looking forward to the T20 series, she said the win in the final ODI at Mumbai a few days ago was really nice for team. “New venue, new format and the girls are really excited,” she said. “And the T20 gives an opportunity to express yourself more freely.”