Young India, happy India, say Mandhana, Pandey, Krishnamurthy
The average age of India in this T20 World Cup is below 23. It’s a young outfit in the real sense. No wonder Smriti Mandhana is enjoying being the part of the side in Australia.
“You can think of the vibe if you see the age of our team,” said the 23-year-old southpaw. “With that kind of age group, there has to be fun and if there’s no fun there’s something wrong with the girls. It’s been like that for the last one or two years. I won’t say it wasn’t like that in the years before but since the teenagers have come, there is a different energy.”
India have four teenagers in their squad in Shafali Verma, Richa Ghosh, Radha Yadav and Jemimah Rodrigues. Captain Harmanpreet is the oldest with 30 years while Shikha Pandey is just days younger than her.
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“Young players come into it with fresh thinking, they don’t have anything behind them,” added Mandhana. “They know nothing. They’re very different people to we were when we came into the side at 17. They are very fearless, they don’t have a lot of pressure on them. They think like it’s any other match and coming into a World Cup, that’s the best thing about them.”
But despite having a good time with the young bunch, the one ‘senior’ player who would, perhaps, not shake a leg with them is Pandey.
“I’ve got two left feet, so there’s no chance I’m joining them” exclaimed the right-arm seamer. “I just sing along.”
“This group really knows how to have fun,” said Veda Krishnamurthy. “It’s about making the young players feel comfortable and I’ve become one with them. We have a lot of dances, a lot of singing and a lot of things that happen. I think we’re the happiest team at the World Cup – although Thailand might give us some competition!”