Classy Smriti Mandhana is ICC women’s cricketer for 2021

Smriti Mandhana has excelled in all forms of the game and is India’s much loved cricketer

It has been a tough year for the Indian women’s cricket team in 2021, but swashbuckling opener Smriti Mandhana is on cloud nine. The Indian opener has been chosen the ICC women’s cricketer for the year.

With 855 runs in 22 internationals in her kitty, Mandhana owns an awesome average of 38.86. Mandhana has hit one century and five half-centuries in her career till date.

Smriti Mandhana has been a name that Indian cricket fans have adored as she went about playing impressive innings all through the season. Her performances in various forms of cricket have made her a household name among India’s fans who have been watching her perform in the women’s version of the game.  

Mandhana excels in series against South Africa

The recent limited-overs series against South Africa was a difficult outing for the women’s cricket team, and the country managed just two wins out of the eight matches played on home turf. The two victories, however, had Mandhana’s excellent show on them, after she played a major role in both the wins.

In the second one-day international game that had India chasing 158 runs, Mandhana had played the anchor hitting 80 not out. The final T20 international also saw Mandhana’s role in taking India to the victory podium when she made a classy 48 not out.

In other forms of the game too, Mandhana proved her worth with some cool runs made. The first innings of the one-off Test match against England saw the opener garner 78 runs. The game had ended in a draw. As part of the same series, her knock of 49 stood out as India’s posted its only win in the ODI series.

The T20 series also saw her talent held aloft, as she made a 15-ball 29 and a 50. However, the team fell short in both these games, to lose the series 2-1. One common factor in all these games was Mandhana’s expertise with the bat and will to face any delivery.

A classy Test ton against the Aussies

In the series against Australia too, Smriti Mandhana proved she was the superstar. The ODI series, which was part of the games against the Aussies, saw Mandhana in fine form. She scored 86 in the second ODI. Later on, she followed up her ODI spark, with a classy century in the only Test against Australia. This is Mandhana’s only Test ton, but the shots she had played through her innings stand etched in the cricket annals. She had been awarded the Player of the Match for her knock.

Smriti Mandhana had also made her second T20I fifty of the year in the final T20I, though India fell short and lost the series 2-0. The left-hander also would cherish her maiden century made during India’s first-ever pink-ball Test.

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