We need to win a World Cup, states India’s ‘game-changer’ Smriti Mandhana
Smriti Mandhana is vice-captain of India Women for the ICC World T20. @Getty

Harmanpreet Kaur, captain of the Indian women’s team headed to the Caribbean this month to contest the ICC Women’s World T20, has hailed her vice-captain and opener Smriti Mandhana as the game-changer.

Mandhana, 22, is ranked second in the ICC women’s T20I rankings and 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 recently.

“She’s in really great form and that is great for India,” Kaur told Sky Sports. “She is a game-changer for India.”

India are pooled with three-time winners Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Ireland at the World T20, but having reached the final of last years 50-over World Cup in England, Mandhana is aware of what needs to be done.

“Any player who starts playing cricket for India the only aim is win a World Cup for your country,” she told Sky Sports. “It is one thing that drives the team and me as a player. We need to win a World Cup and be the No 1 team in the world. We have a lot of steps to take to improve as a team to achieve that and we are working hard towards that.”

Being named Player of the Tournament in the Kia Super League was a boost for Mandhana, who felt that her game has evolved to deliver better results.

“It has been a good confidence-builder and good experience to get before the World T20. I’ve been timing the ball well in the nets and in the games,” she said. “In the past, I’ve played a rash shot and got out, but I’ve been learning from that – playing a bit more straight and lessening the risk of getting out, which has worked. I know it’s not just about smashing the ball, I’ve been looking to play the situation and adapting and that is one thing that is lacking a little.”