Smriti and I have been friends since I made it to the Indian team. Though she had captained me once for West Zone, we had hardly spoken back then.

She is a mentor and elder sister to me, and I am grateful for this friendship. Off the field, she is a very chilled out person.

Initially I thought, she was very serious and would always think about cricket. If you hang out with her, you tend to have a lot of fun. She will crack her lame jokes – that is one shikayat (complain) I have – but is very sorted in her head. She is very practical and knows how to go ahead.

If you need life or cricket lessons, she is the best person to go as Smriti will explain things in a very simple way and give you an exact solution.

She is very calm and shows maturity beyond her years. I have seen her over the years, and she takes her batting and the game very seriously.

She wants to win matches for India and set new standards for women’s cricket and take it to the next level. That has always been her dream. Whenever I have spoken to her about this, she has told me that we both need to change women’s cricket. We should just not play, but also lead women’s cricket to greater heights.

Everyone knows what kind of a batter she is. It is very difficult for bowlers to plan against her. She has achieved a lot at this age, at times people forget that she is just 25.

(As told to Shayan Acharya)

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