Watching Smriti Mandhana bat is akin to hearing a composition by the Austrian musician Franz Schubert. It’s a deeply enriching experience. The Viennese purposefully disowned modulations with a smooth succession of pivot chords. Mandhana can be in Formula One or marathon mode occasion demanding.

To turn to what happened today as India made their way to defeating  Pakistan at the CWG games. Smriti Mandhana blasted 63 runs that had 8 fours and 3 sixes at a strike rate of 150. The 44-ball innings had the control of a 44-move-win by a virtuoso Chess Grandmaster taking just 20 minutes off his clock. Every stroke sounded like timing, was lethal in effect, and looked like a painting of movement.

Her young and talented opening partner Shefali Verma is an out-an-out attacking player. And she’s made bold statements with the bat in her early career. Today she had the best seat in the ground till 61 runs in 5.5 overs for India, when she got out at 16 runs in 9 balls. She was watching the ground being painted for the 25 balls that she saw Mandhana bat from the other end. Mandhana’s brute and effortless sixes in between a barrage of fours were greeted by the crowd like a sudden burst of colours in an already coloured atmosphere of Holi. The six that the elegance personified left-hander hit to get to her fifty was a dance to the pitch of the ball and a straight hit followed by a simple par for the course smile.

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To rewind, what made seasoned professionals, like Sachin Tendulkar and Virendra Sehwag (easily her most vocal fan), stand up and take notice was Smriti Mandhana’s last October’s 127 in 216 balls—studded with 22 fours and a six—in the pink ball Day-Night Test against Australia in Australia. She’s the only Indian women cricketer to have won the ICC Women’s Player of the Year Award twice.

She’d had a lot of dismissals in the 80s before that one-Test tour to Australia and also a dry run and she stressed on feel. “From 2018 to this year, the way I would have loved to bat, I was not able to,” she said. “Even though I was getting the fifties or whatever scores I was getting, I was still trying to search the kind of feel I wanted to search. With family also I just kept asking about… we kept checking the videos of what has gone different. The only thing which I was working on was to try to get the kind of feel I wanted to get as a batter.

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Whenever the tours were coming, I was not thinking about that because at the end whatever you bat at that time, you have to deal with it and just go forward and try and look to play the match. But, definitely, this series I was feeling much better as a batter and definitely wanted to make it count because of the few chances I had lost in the last two years [because of the lack] of my feel. So, I wanted to try and make it up and still want to try and make it up.”

Schubert isn’t picked randomly. He could drop from the mountaintop to the sea preserving beauty. “He preferred to drop suddenly into unrelated, and therefore unexpected, keys, as in the transition from C major to E minor in the opening movement of his Symphony No. 9 in C Major, which he began in 1825.”

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Mandhana can navigate the treacherous terrain of opening in a Test match and bulldozing a decent-looking attack to smithereens with the aesthetics being as aesthetical as they can be. She is batting with feel and seeing her one can feel that.

Today, the team’s bowling and Smriti Mandhana’s brilliance helped India continue its dominance over Pakistan in women’s cricket. India inflicted its tenth defeat over the neighbours in twelve T20 internationals at their Commonwealth Games group clash at Edgbaston in England on Sunday.

In a match that began 55 minutes late because of rain and was reduced to 18 overs per side, Pakistan were bowled out for 99 after choosing to bat first. Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma then made short work of the chase with a 61-run opening partnership to help India pick up their first win in the competition.

India next play Barbados on August 3.