India batswoman Smriti Mandhana, who became the household name after her stellar show in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, started the three-match ODI series against South Africa women with a scintillating innings of 84 in 98 balls. Owing to her effortless batting at the top, India posted a score of 213 in 50 overs and eventually routed the Proteas women by 88 runs.
However, all the recent success is not the cake walk for Mandhana as she had to constantly motivate her during the tough times. Having made her ODI debut in 2013 and Test debut in 2014, the 21-year-old Smriti has already sustained quite a few injuries. In fact, Mandhana had to miss the last year’s World Cup qualifier and the Quadrangular Series in South Africa owing to an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
In a recent interview with India Today, the stylish left-handed batswoman opened up about the factors which constantly push her to do the mental and physical hardships.
"Giving mom and dad a better life and making them happy keeps me motivated," Mandhana told India Today.
She also disclosed the reason for getting into cricket at such an early age. Mandhana made her international debut at the age of just 16.
"I got inspired to take up cricket after watching my brother play at the Maharashtra state Under-16 tournaments and seeing his name in the newspapers," she added.
Smriti grabbed the eyeballs of cricket fraternity by hitting a half-century (90) and century (106*) against England and West Indies respectively in last year’s ICC Women’s World Cup – a tournament wherein Mithali Raj and company went on to play the final. Indian women's team couldn’t cross the final hurdle as they lost the final agonizingly to England by 9 runs.
When asked about the peak and trough of her 5-year long career thus far, Mandhana said: "Highs of my career would be playing for India, and lows would be getting injured. But I dealt with them by being positive."
Talking about her other area of interest, Smriti said that she likes cooking and if her dream of becoming a cricketer hadn’t come true, she perhaps would have started a restaurant.
"I have an interest in cooking. If not cricketer I would have liked to opt for cooking and start my own restaurant," she concluded.
Earlier this month, Mandhana had led India Blue to the Challenger Trophy triumph with herself leading from the front and scoring an unbeaten century against India Red and a precious 58 in the final against India Green. She is also depicted as the future captain of India Women’s team as the likes of Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami are in the twilight of their respective careers.