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Smriti Mandhna and harman in Talk Show P-1


How can I? – Well, I can’t… – Harmanpreet: “Come on, talk and smile”. I’ll be thinking about how to tackle the next bowler and she asks me to smile. Once you publicly said that Smriti Mandhana is afraid of dancing. Vikram: I think every Indian Cricketer should know how to dance. You’re a natural dancer. And I think Punjabis and West Indians are born dancers. Well, she’s a natural dancer but she’ll only dance on Punjabi songs.
Vikram: Okay. – Any other song, she won’t. That’s because I know how to dance only on Punjabi songs. – Vikram: Okay. – I don’t know how to dance on other songs but when they force me, I end up doing Punjabi dance. Tell us something about her dancing style. – Well.. – I was trying to change the When I go out there to bat I’ll be totally focused and be quite serious. But she goes, “Come on, smile”. topic. No. Remember? Focus. She will stand in the middle of the group and someone has to make her hands move otherwise she will stand still. I tell her to dance… – Vikram: Not possible at all. – She just can’t. I remember, once coach… We were playing against Sri Lanka in Ranchi and coach said, “Until Smriti dances, we aren’t going to board the bus”.
I just sat down and I was like “I’m not dancing and if you want to stay here the whole day, you can stay”. – You remember? – Yeah, I do. I sat down right there. I mean, it has to come from inside. I can’t dance when someone compels me. I think, if we win the World Cup finals… – Vikram: Amazing… – I will dance for sure. We’ll do many things if we win the World Cup finals. Now that we have talked about you… Let’s talk about her. I’m a bit scared of her because she is so aggressive while batting… – Everybody’s scared of her… – Vikram: Everybody’s scared? Vikram: My assessment wasn’t wrong then. But I’m sure there’s something that she’s scared of. Something. We were playing a World Cup match. She’s scared of ghosts. Well, I am chicken-hearted too but she’s extremely timid. And I have the itch to tell her ghost stories. So, I told her all the ghost stories I knew at that time.
There were anecdotes involving our team at the hotel and, you know, previously there was an incident involving Rani. I enquired all about it. When I narrated these stories, she was bedridden due to treatment. And then she made me stay with her all the time. I stayed by her side all night. Well, we stayed in individual rooms. And those stories were really scary. And then three of us ended up sleeping in one room. I didn’t let them sleep because I couldn’t fall asleep. And whenever they fell asleep, I woke them up. Was there a ghost in that hotel? I don’t know but it was a scary place. – Vikram: It’s in England, right? – Yes, England. Perhaps, there was a ghost. But I haven’t seen.. We didn’t see any but two of the girls had strange experiences. I mean, they told us something had tied them up for hours and didn’t let them out of the room. You know, stories like that… – Are you serious? – And she actually cried for an hour. If someone is crying for an hour, there must be something to it. Are you sure it was not opposition fast bowlers?
Vikram: You know, you guys have batted so many times together. Let’s talk about the dynamics between you two. She’s the aggressor. I think you’re quite aggressive too. Correct me if I’m wrong. But have you guys ever got run-out because of each other? Vikram: And got mad at each other? Not a run-out but I’ll tell you what happens when you bat with her. When I go out there to bat I’ll be totally focused and quite serious. She goes, “Come on, smile”. How can I? She will come back, you know, while tapping the pitch and go, “Come on, smile”. Why should I? – Well, I can’t… – “Come on, talk and smile”. I’ll be thinking about how to tackle the next bowler and she asks me to smile. Do you enjoy batting with her? Very much. I mean… Do you remember any big match? We played a league match against Australia. And we had some 60 or 70 runs partnership. It happened quickly in 30 balls. I started off really well and then she came and started hitting sixes. I told her to take singles. I’ll take the strike. Let her do her job. But… It was great fun. And the Asia Cup match too. Asia Cup? The match against Pakistan. What happened in that match? It was a T20 match. We took all their wickets, I think – for 70 or 80 runs. – Smriti: Yes. – But we lost wickets quickly. – Vikram: Yes. By the time I went to bat, we had lost three wickets and had scored 5 or 6 runs. And they were in control of the game – so we decided to play aggressively. – Vikram: Yes. And we both were saying this to each other “Look, there’s no one to bat after us” “let’s play carefully.” We both were talking about playing carefully but at the same time, we were hitting big shots. So, you both were telling each other to play slowly but you were hitting. – That’s because… – Clearly, there’s a communication gap.
We both know about each other’s mentality. Our mindset is simple, attack the ball. So, we both have to keep each other in check. I mean, at least one among us should play slow, you know. And it always fails because none of us wants to play slow. Smriti, do you enjoy batting with Jemimah? I enjoy batting with her but she’s a serious person too. – I mean… – Vikram: What’s wrong with the Indian Team? I thoroughly enjoy batting with her. Because we both stay quiet and quietly signal each other whom to hit and whom to play for singles. When I play with them, I have to give them their space, they are serious. You know, when I bat, I start counting seats or do something. – Vikram: Oh my! – I have to do something, you see. You’re a batsman and a logistics officer. You know, I keep myself occupied. And I try to concentrate when I take the strike. I need to change the gears when I play with them. I have to get serious. It’s the same with Jemimah. She will be into herself and we both, you know… But will you challenge each other? Jemi and I challenged one another in New Zealand, in a T20 match.
We were having dinner the night before that match and she teased me saying, “You’re not good at playing a sweep shot.” I replied, “Yes, you’re right. But I’m going to work on it.” And I teased her by bringing up the way she plays the pull shot. In the next match, I played a sweep shot and hit an off spinner for a six. Then I told her not to hurt my ego again. And then she played a very good pull shot off Tahuhu’s ball and told me not to hurt her ego either. Vikram: Amazing. Have you guys ever failed to read a bowler altogether and thought that it’s not your day? Has it ever happened? It used to happen earlier because we had only turning wickets in India and only green pitches in the other countries.
Nowadays we play on flat wickets so it’s not much of a problem. It used to happen before. Once we played a match with a pink ball. We played the first four matches with a white ball and then suddenly there was a pink ball for the finals. We lost four wickets for four runs. Before I could defend, the ball used to swing away. So I didn’t move my bat. The bowlers kept bowling and I was like this. Every ball is swinging away. And I played 10-12 overs without scoring much. – Vikram: You were lucky. – Yes, I was. Have you faced any such difficulty? Like she said, nowadays we mostly play on flat wickets and rarely play test matches. But when I was batting with Jemi against New Zealand in the first ODI Tahuhu opened the bowling. We are used to facing balls coming at speeds of 115 to 120 kmph. But she bowls at 126 kmph. A little… Her first ball was in the keeper’s hand before Jemi could reach for it. And I was laughing at the non-striker’s end.
I mocked her saying, “Jemi, bring out your bat.” When I faced her, the ball hit my thigh pad before I could bring out my bat. We both were in trouble at that time. – These days, such things happen very rarely. – Right. Let’s talk about touring abroad. A lot of cricketers have said that it’s too difficult to play outside the country specially, when you’re on a long tour. Once, Anil Kumble told me that Srinath was a vegetarian and he used to deliberately go to the third man towards the end of the match to talk to Indians and arrange for dinner. Somebody like you, a Punjabi. Punjabis are known for their love of spicy and tasty food. When you went to Australia to play the T20 league how did you manage? A large number of people turn up to see the match. Amongst the Indian crowd, mostly there will be Punjabis. They would’ve packed something for themselves and they would invite me to join them or they would invite me to their homes. – Luckily, my sister stays in Australia. – Vikram: Great! So there’s no problem as far as food is concerned.
Vikram laughing- So, you’re sorted. – I’m sorted. – And what about you? – Food wise? Vikram: I mean, when you’re abroad you feel lonely, right? At some of time, you feel like where am I. I’m just batting… Though you can make a lot of friends, but generally what’s the feeling? First of all, I really miss talking in Hindi. [Vikram laughing] Truly… When we used to meet, I mean, play against each other. I mean, Sydney Thunder versus Hurricanes, the team I play for now. I would tell her, “Please talk to me in Hindi” “I’m sick and tired of talking in English”. I didn’t feel this when I used to travel with the Indian team, you know. I thought I didn’t need anybody and that I’m independent, you see. – In the first year of Big Bash… – Vikram: Yes… I stayed alone in my flat and I did all the chores myself. Then I missed everyone so much. – [Vikram laughing] – Everybody were in a state of shock… – Specially, the Indian team manager.

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