Sangli: India women’s cricket team opener Smriti Mandhana was, in her younger days, given the hairdryer treatment by her childhood coach for trying to imitate the batting style of her favourite cricketer – Kumar Sangakkara.
Smriti had joined the cricket academy of Anant Tambvekar’s coaching academy, following her elder brother’s footsteps, when she was young.
During her time under Tambvekar’s coaching, the southpaw often had the habit of copying the style of Sri Lanka legendary wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara.
“Smriti was very lively since her childhood. But at the nets, she was extremely disciplined,” Tambvekar said to One India.
“She never used to leave the nets unless she had mastered a shot. Later on, she became a fan of Kumar Sangakkara. In the nets, she always tried to copy Sangakkara while batting. Sometimes I had scolded her for trying to copy the Sri Lankan great,” he continued.
The 20-year-old India opener’s childhood coach also revealed that Smriti is grateful to those who helped hone her batting skills in her younger days.
Mandhana, who scored her second ODI century against the West Indies on Thursday, called up her childhood coach, to ask his assessment of her batting.
“She has not forgotten me yet,” said Tambvekar. “After scoring the century in the group league match in the World Cup she called me from London, asked me whether she had made any technical mistake during her century. I did not expect a phone call from her.”