Smriti Mandhana is currently on top of the ODI rankings in women's cricket after a wonderful tour of New Zealand. (Image credit: Twitter)
Smriti Mandhana is already having a magnificent 2019. After a magnificent series against New Zealand in both ODIs and T20Is, Mandhana is on top of the world in the latest ICC women’s cricket rankings. The young left-hander, who had scores of 90,105 and 1 in the three-match series against New Zealand, was one of the key factors in India winning the three-match series 2-1. Even in the three-match Twenty20 Internationals, Mandhana had scores of 58,36 and 86 but India lost the three-match series 3-0. Mithali Raj, who created history by becoming the first woman cricket player to play 200 ODIs, remains in fifth spot.
Apart from Mandhana and Mithali, Deepti Sharma and Poonam Yadav are two other Indian bowlers in the top-10 at eighth and ninth positions respectively. Deepti also features in the all-rounders chart at a career-high third spot. Australia’s Ellyse Perry is at the pinnacle of the list followed by West Indies' Stefanie Taylor. No Indian woman has reached the top spot among all-rounders as all the former captains --- Jhulan Goswami (in July 2015), Purnima Rau (December 2000) and Shubhangi Kulkarni (January 1986) have attained the second position.
Mandhana continued her record-breaking run in international cricket as she broke her own record and blasted a fifty off 24 balls to boost India. She credited WV Raman for working with the full fortitude and added that he gave her targets to bat on a certain number of balls, as the strike rate doesn’t concern her that much.
"He's giving me targets to bat a certain number of balls because strike rate and those kinds of things never concern me, the only problem is the patience aspect. He is helping with that and giving me targets to bat through these many balls and that many overs and that is being great," said the left-hander after India's tour of New Zealand.
India will be taking on England and this series can be crucial in the final standings while defending champions Australia host second-placed New Zealand in another series that also starts on Saturday. Left-arm medium-pacer Komal Zanzad impressed with a three-wicket initial burst but Board President's XI failed to defend their modest score of 154 and lost by two wickets against the visiting England XI in a practise game in Mumbai.