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Smriti Mandhana hints at emulating Neeraj Chopra to win CWG gold

Mandhana further said that the team has plans in place for Australia, Barbados, and Pakistan, which are placed in Group A of the tournament.

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Bengaluru: Women’s Team India Vice-Captain Smriti Mandhana on Friday hinted at emulating ace Indian athlete Neeraj Chopra to bag a gold in women’s cricket at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

“All the girls are really excited. We know the feeling as we all have watched Commonwealth Games as well as the Olympics. When the Indian flag goes higher and we hear the national anthem, everyone knows that feeling. We are aiming for gold, we are not looking just for a podium finish.

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“I literally got goosebumps when Neeraj Chopra won a gold medal at the Olympics. We have an opportunity to do that, obviously not for the Olympics but at the Commonwealth Games,” she told reporters at a virtual press conference, before departing to Birmingham to participate in the Commonwealth Games.

Neeraj is an Indian javelin thrower, who bagged a historic gold medal in the men’s javelin throw final at Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Mandhana further said that the team has plans in place for Australia, Barbados, and Pakistan, which are placed in Group A of the tournament.

“We all are really excited and we know the groups which were decided long back. So, we have our plans in place for Pakistan, Australia, and Barbados. Hopefully, things will work the way we have planned,” she said.

Sri Lanka, England, New Zealand, and South Africa are placed in Group B.

Replying to a query on what it means to her playing for a medal at Commonwealth Games, Mandhana said it is something new for the team as they have never experienced playing a tournament where other sports are played. “Definitely, looking forward to it,” she added.

The preparation has been really good ahead of the Commonwealth, Mandhana said and hoped it would lead the team to get a medal back.

“Sri Lanka was a good tour for us, ODIs and T20Is, and also we had a fitness camp, few girls had a fitness and skill camp, we have been working on things that individuals need so yeah, the preparation has been really good ahead of the Commonwealth and I hope the preparation will lead us to get a medal back,” she said.

Indian Squad

Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana (VC), Shafali Verma, S Meghana, Taniyaa Sapna Bhatia (Wk), Yastika Bhatia (Wk), Deepti Sharma, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Pooja Vastrakar, Meghna Singh, Renuka Thakur, Jemimah Rodrigues, Radha Yadav, Harleen Deol, Sneh Rana.

Standby: Simran Dil Bahadur, Richa Ghosh, Poonam Yadav.

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