Smriti Mandhana ideal candidate to succeed Mithali Raj after her retirement, says former Indian cricketer
Harmanpreet Kaur has been the T20 captain since 2016, but her inconsistency as a batter makes her an unlikely replacement for Mithali in the longer forms. Former Indian player named ideal choice as Mithali's successor.
Former captain Shantha Rangaswamy believes Smriti Mandhana is the best contender to lead India once ODI and Test skipper Mithali Raj retires after the Women's World Cup in New Zealand next year.
Harmanpreet Kaur has been the T20 captain since 2016, but her inconsistency as a batter makes her an unlikely replacement for Mithali in the longer forms. Mandhana, on the other hand, has established herself among one of the world's top batters.
"Smriti is the ideal choice after Mithali retires. She has been an excellent performer for India and should be given the opportunity to lead the country," Shantha, who guided India to their maiden Test victory in 1976, said according to PTI.
Shantha, who is also a member of the BCCI Apex Council, believes Harmanpreet's batting has been impacted because of the burden of captaincy, which she believes is critical to India's success.
Mandhana, who has played four Tests, 62 ODIs, and 84 T20s, was last seen in Australia during the Women's Big Bash. In the cash-rich league, she also got a century against the Melbourne Renegades.
Harmanpreet, who has struggled with form and fitness over the previous year, also performed well in the Big Bash, and it remains to be seen if she can maintain that form at the top level.
Before the World Cup in March-April, India will play an away series against New Zealand. For the unversed, India were the runners-up in the previous edition in 2017.
Shantha said the Women's Challenger, which concluded on Thursday (December 9), indicated that there is no shortage of talent in the country. "The event has unearthed a lot of talent which augurs well for women's cricket. It also shows that we are ready for a Women's IPL," she added.