How Smriti Mandhana made Kumar Sangakkara feel ‘humbled’
Smriti Mandhana, star of India Women’s cricket team at the recently-concluded ICC World Cup, admires Sri Lanka national cricket team great Kumar Sangakkara’s battingUpdated: Aug 14, 2019, 16:46 IST
Sri Lankan cricket great legend Kumar Sangakkara says he is ‘humbled to have been mentioned by such a wonderful player’ as India women’s cricket team opener Smriti Mandhana. The left-handed India batter, who idolises the Sri Lankan, registered two big innings — including a century — at the ICC Women’s World Cup last month in England.
Smriti, who scored 90 and 106 not out in the first two games of the World Cup, said it was Sangakkara who motivated her, and she would always watch his batting videos to pick up things.
Her innings had prompted cricket experts to liken her batting style with former India captain Sourav Ganguly But Smriti revealed it was Sangakkara whom she admires the most.
“Whenever I feel that I am not batting the way I should, I watch videos of Kumar Sangakkara. I like his batting style. I also admire Ganguly, but it is Sangakkara that I relate to. I haven’t really watched Ganguly bat a lot in my young days, while Sangakkara has been an inspiration,” she told sportstarlive.com.
Smriti tried batting like her brother, but it was Sangakkara who had the greater impact on her style.
“I try and play a cover drive like Sangakkara. Earlier, I used to copy my brother’s batting style. But watching Sangakkara’s batting videos give me a fair bit of idea on how I should improve,” Smriti added.
“I have never met him, though I really want to. Trust me, the day I meet him, I will only talk to him about batting,” she added.
The Sri Lankan great, on his part, said he is humbled to have been named by Smriti. “Please convey to Smriti my thanks for mentioning my name. I was humbled to have been mentioned by such a wonderful player as she is,” Sangakkara wrote to the website.