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Women's Cricket

Australian youngster Litchfield hopes lessons from Mandhana will come in handy on India tour

The next big thing from Australia, Phoebe Litchfield is hopeful of using lessons from Smriti Mandhana on her maiden India tour.

Australian youngster Litchfield hopes lessons from Mandhana will come in handy on India tour
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Australian youngster Phoebe Litchfield can make her international debut against India on the tour.

By

PTI

Updated: 7 Dec 2022 3:38 PM GMT

Phoebe Litchfield, considered as the next big thing in Australian women's cricket, is hoping that time spent with the much-accomplished left-hander Smriti Mandhana during the WBBL will come in handy on her maiden tour of India.

Both Litchfield, 19, and Mandhana played for Sydney Thunder in the 2021-22 WBBL season and the uncapped Australian got to learn a lot from one of the finest batters in the women's game. Litchfield is set to make her debut in the T20I series against India, beginning in Mumbai on December 9.

"Smriti was awesome to play with. She is a class above. As a lefty, I learnt a lot from her. She helped me through those innings.I definitely made the most of her (time) over there and picked her brains. She's one of my favourite left-handers to watch," Litchfield told reporters here on Wednesday.

Mandhana was kind enough to also gift Litchfield a bat at the end of the season. The Indian southpaw opted out of the WBBL this season. "She actually gave me one of her bats at the end of the series. I used that and it was a peach! The chat with her was about just batting insights around how to go about a game. Sometimes you shank some, sometimes you go well," Litchfield said.

"You've got to stick in there and put an innings together. She helped me with that," she fondly remembered. Having done really well in List A cricket and T20s, expectations are high from Litchfield. And she does feel the weight of those expectations.

"I'd be lying if I said it doesn't cross my mind. The pressures of the scoring run always play on the mind, especially as a young player. With the media going 'oh, you are the next big thing and I hope like I don't go anywhere or something like that. But as soon as I hop on the field it disappears, which is nice."I focus on scoring runs and actually having fun around the group and seeing players like Rach (Rachael) Haynes, and Alyssa Healy play and mirror my game to the T and have fun." Litchfield is a like-for-like replacement for Haynes, who quit professional cricket earlier in the year.

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