‘What He Has Achieved For India Is Remarkable’: Smriti Mandhana On Comparisons With Virat Kohli After Leading RCB To WPL Win

New Delhi: RCB skipper Smriti Mandhana feels it’s not right for people to undermine Virat Kohli’s achievements for the Bengaluru franchise in the wake of her side’s Women’s Premier League title triumph here recently.

The Mandhana-led RCB defeated Delhi Capitals to lift the WPL trophy in only their second year, while their male counterparts, led by the charismatic Kohli for nearly a decade before he stepped down, haven’t had success in the 16 years of IPL.

“The title is one thing, but what he (Kohli) has achieved for India is remarkable. So, I don’t think that comparison is right in terms of where my career is and what he has already achieved,” Mandhana told the media on Tuesday.

“The reason why I do not like the comparison is that what he has achieved is great; he has been an inspirational person. A title does not define a lot of things; we all respect him and I feel like the respect has to be right up there for Virat. So, there is nothing different from me as well,” said the India vice-captain.

Both Mandhana and Kohli wear No. 18 jerseys and the left-handed batter said drawing comparison between the two based on that was unwarranted.

“I would not term it as an 18 comparison. The jersey number is just a personal choice; my birth date is 18th and I have 18 on my back… it does not define how he plays or (how) I play my cricket. He’s been an inspiration to us in a lot of aspects, so I would not say title should define anything,” she added.

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Mandhana felt that the men’s counterparts had always played good competitive cricket but an IPL title had eluded them.

“I think, to be fair, the men’s team has also played good cricket in the last 16 years; it is not like they have not played well. I don’t think the comparison is right. RCB is a franchise; let’s treat the men’s and women’s teams separately because we don’t want to be compared.

“They are good at what they do. We are good at what we do,” she added.

On how she scripted the team’s super spell, where RCB grabbed nine Delhi Capitals wickets for just 43 runs, Mandhana said Sophie Molineux taking three wickets after the strategic timeout was the turning point.

“Especially that over after that strategic timeout when Sophie got those three wickets, that was pretty much the turning point. It was good to watch the way they (spinners) planned and executed. I think that was good to watch.” Mandhana praised the ‘one tribe’ culture in the side, saying it was something that each one in the group has adhered to and tried to build on in the last two years.

“Yeah, the team culture. There is one big thing we spoke about after (poor) last season with the management, and they were keen on building one. Because of course, we are just the first or second year into it, and if we do a few things right, it might set a few things right for a long time, and culture is something that is a big thing (in the side).

“One tribe, we are like one family and we are all there for each other. We backed each other up, and we did that a lot in the last season as well. Things didn’t work out last year, but this year it was even more. Much better, the management was just there, celebrating each other’s success.”

(This report has been published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. Apart from the headline, no editing has been done in the copy by ABP Live.)

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