WBBL: Smriti Mandhana relishing return to Blundstone Arena
In two WBBL games this season, Smriti Mandhana has scored 0 and 69 off 41 balls. © Getty

Team India opener Smriti Mandhana is geared up to play her first match of the fourth edition of the ongoing Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) at Brisbane’s Blundstone Arena, the scene of her maiden ODI hundred in 2016.

“I scored my first international century here, so that was one reason why I wanted to come back to Hobart,” she said on Friday. “I’ve had some good memories from Hobart.”

ALSO READ: Harmanpreet back with Sydney Thunder, Mandhana joins Hobart Hurricanes

Mandhana, 22, signed with Hobart Hurricanes having previously played for Brisbane Heat in the WBBL’s second season after encouragement from her peers and support group.

“I had that in my mind but as a player you need to come out of your comfort zone,” she said. “All my coaches said you need to go, if you want to develop as a player you need to leave your comfort zone. As a player you need to come out of comfort zone … when you come out and play in the WBBL or the KSL (England Super League) there are different expectations of you as a foreign player …it helps when you play in big tournaments like a World Cup.”

ALSO READ: Harmanpreet, Smriti back Powar; women’s team split on coach

Mandhana has had a successful 2018, ending the Kia Super League as the highest run getter with 421 runs from 10 matches and then scoring an unbeaten 72 and 51 as India clinched an ODI series 2-1 over Sri Lanka in October. At the Women’s World T20, Mandhana finished with 178 runs at 35.6 and a strike-rate of 125.35 which featured a career-best 83 versus eventual winners Australia.

In two WBBL games this season, Mandhana has scored 0 and 69 off 41 balls.