Smriti Mandhana drove and cut her way to the top of the world rankings last month.
To become the ICC’s No. 1 batswoman was a goal she had set for herself, she said here on Sunday. But, she has a bigger goal.
“As a batter, reaching the No. 1 position is the most important thing, and reaching there was really pleasing, but now I have to work harder as staying there is more important,” she said, on the eve of India’s first Women’s Twenty20 International against England. “But my major goal definitely is to win the World Cup.”
About captaining India for the first time, she felt there wouldn’t be much change in the way she approached a match.
“As vice-captain for the last two years, I have been attending all team meetings,” she said. “I used to know what we would be doing before a match even when I was not captain. The only new thing, perhaps, is that I have to speak to the bowlers more now.”
She said BCCI’s decision to take international women’s cricket to smaller venues was brilliant.
“It was great to play the one-day series against Australia in front of huge crowds at Vadodara last year,” she said. “The reception we have received here too has been amazing.”
Her counterpart Heather Knight sounded happy about her team having made it to the front pages.
Looking forward to the T20 series, she said the win in the final ODI at Mumbai a few days ago was really nice for the team.
“New venue, new format and the girls are really excited,” she said. “And T20 gives an opportunity to express yourself more freely.”