India women’s head coach Ramesh Powar believes that opening batter Smriti Mandhana will lead the national team in future. Currently, Mithali Raj is captaining the team in the Test and ODI format and it is assumed that Raj will bid adieu to the game right after the 2022 ODI World Cup.
Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana are the contenders for leading the team in the longer formats of the game. Harmanpreet is currently the captain of the T20I team and Smriti Mandhana is the vice-captain. However, Mandhana was Mithali Raj’s deputy in the ODI series and a standalone pink-ball Test against Australia, in Harmanpreet's absence who was sidelined with injury. Powar insists that the discussion needs to be done after the World Cup in March-April next year.
"See at some point we have to address some future roles for the leadership. There are some talks around it. We will take it after the World Cup, and we will decide exactly what [needs to be]. We are not going to hurry it up, we will give it good thought and then will we decide what's happening," Powar said after India lost the third T20I against Australia on Sunday.
Powar added that the team is looking at Mandhana as India's future captain. Mandhana scored 86 runs against Australia in the second ODI of three-match series. She also scored her first Test hundred in the standalone pink-ball Test and scored 52 in the third and final T20I.
"We are looking at her (Mandhana) as a leader as always," Powar said. "She has been the vice-captain and at some point, she will lead this side. I don't know the format now; BCCI, the selectors and me will get together and decide the next course of action."
The former India spinner further stated that age has nothing to do with captaincy.
"Captaincy has got nothing to do with age, but I am convinced that Mandhana can be the captain [after the 50-over World Cup]," Raman had said during a virtual interaction organised by Sony Sports India last week. "She is a good reader of the game and has already played few years of cricket. It can be a good time and giving captaincy to a younger cricketer means they can lead the side for a stretch for some years."