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Home > Sports News > Cricket News > Article > Ex Maharashtra coaches back Smriti Mandhana as Harmanpreet Kaurs ideal successor

Ex-Maharashtra coaches back Smriti Mandhana as Harmanpreet Kaur's ideal successor

Updated on: 28 July,2023 07:57 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Subodh Mayure |

Mandhana’s Maharashtra coaches highlight the traits that make her a fine captain as she prepares to lead India at the Asian Games

Ex-Maharashtra coaches back Smriti Mandhana as Harmanpreet Kaur's ideal successor

Smriti Mandhana. Pic/Getty Images

Smriti Mandhana will lead the Indian women’s team in the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, (September 19 to October 8) after regular skipper Harmanpreet Kaur was suspended for two international matches for breaching ICC’s Code of Conduct in the tied third ODI against Bangladesh recently.

Indrajeet Kamtekar and Vasudeo Oak, former coaches of the Maharashtra team, reckon Mandhana, 27, is the ideal candidate to lead the Indian women’s team. 

‘Smriti’s game sense is good’

“Smriti’s game sense, player-management skills and commitment to the game are very high. Even after playing for the country for so many years, she is always 100 percent committed while playing at the domestic level. She’s a very astute captain, always two steps ahead when it comes to making bowling changes or adjusting field placements,” Kamtekar, 46, who was coach when Mandhana led the Maharashtra team last season, told mid-day from Ireland on Thursday.

Indrajeet Kamtekar and Vasudeo  Oak Indrajeet Kamtekar and Vasudeo  Oak 

Mandhana has represented the country in four Tests, 80 ODIs and 119 T20Is.

Oak, 63, who has coached the Maharashtra men’s Ranji Trophy team in the past and was coach of the women’s team from 2019 to 2021, also hailed Mandhana’s leadership qualities. “Smriti has all the leadership qualities a captain needs. Her observation of the game is commendable. She keenly watches aspects like a batter’s footwork and grip and accordingly advises her bowlers on how to set-up a wicket. She is very good at extracting match-winning performances from teammates,” said Oak.

Also Read: The man in white is (not) always right

When asked if Mandhana is ready for the India responsibility, both coaches had no doubt.

Kamtekar said: “She is definitely ready to lead India. Everybody respects her. She is a balanced cricketer and exhibits controlled aggression as well as calmness when needed, making her capable of handling tough situations. I feel the extra responsibility of captaincy will spur her on to contribute even more towards her team’s success.”

Maturity, a key factor

Oak, who represented Maharashtra in 27 first-class games, felt Mandhana has matured as a cricketer. “Smriti has a good, balanced head on her shoulders and enjoys taking responsibility. Also, she is socially well connected with her teammates and I think that’s a key asset. 

“As a leader, she knows how to keep the players together and is not solely concerned about her own performance. She has the maturity and ability to 
back teammates which are traits of a good captain. Her fitness level is superb too and that reflects in her performances,” said Oak. 

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