Indian women cricket team's opening batsman Smriti Mandhana has been named the Leading Cricketer of the Year for 2019 by Wisden Almanack.
The 22-year-old has made a habit of achieving new benchmarks and was rewarded for her consistency across all formats. In 12 ODIs, She scored 669 runs at a healthy average of 66.9, along with 662 runs in 25 T20Is at an average of 28.27.
Mandhana is currently ranked number one in ICC’s ODI rankings and number three on ICC’s T20I rankings. The ace player is only the second Indian woman to win an International Cricket Council award, after fast bowler, Jhulan Goswami won the 'Player of the Year' in 2007.
Owing to her impressive performances, Mandhana was asked to captain the Indian women's team in the T20Is against England, recently. While she became the youngest Indian player to lead a team, the hosts were outplayed by England in all three games.
Despite that, Mandhana hasn't let that affect her batting. In six ODIs this year so far, she has made 349 runs at an average of 69.80. The Maharashtra born has continued her good form in T20Is as well with 252 runs from six outings at an average of 42.
Mandhana, who has been a part of domestic T20 leagues all around the world, shattered records while playing for Western Storm in the Kia Super League last season. She scored the most runs (421), hit most sixes (21), and had the highest strike-rate (174). She also holds the record for joint fastest 50 (18 balls) in women's T20 with New Zealand's Sophie Devine. She bagged the title of 'Player of the Tournament' for her spectacular season.
In recent times, Mandhana has become a crucial member of the Indian women’s team and has given memorable starts that have helped the team's cause. Remember her knock in the World Twenty20 against Australia? In the group stage match, she scored her career-best 83 off 55 balls, with exquisite shots all around the ground.
Meanwhile, her idol, Indian captain Virat Kohli was named the ‘Leading Cricketer in the World’ for the third time in a row. Alongside Kohli, Tammy Beaumont, Sam Curran, Rory Burns and Jos Buttler were included in the Five Wisden Cricketers of the Year.
Also, Afghanistan's Rashid Khan was named the Leading T20 cricketer for the second year in a row.
(Featured Image: FB/Smriti Mandhana)
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