A roaring crowd, fierce teams, matches which will make us bite our cuticles red, we can be sure that India is going to be the perfect host for the ICC World T20 2016.
The men have started playing since the 8th of March, with Afghanistan, Scotland, Oman, Hong Kong and a few more teams taking up the ground. The biggies are yet to come in. The team under MSD, basking in their success at the Asia Cup are busy preparing and warming up before their first game against the black caps.
Meanwhile, the women are all set for their first match against Bangladesh on the 15th in Kotla, Delhi. The squad is determined to do their best in the tournament. Captain Mithali Raj believes that this tournament will go their way.
Why wouldn’t it, seeing that the team is the strongest it has been till now.
“We do have a well-shaped team at the moment. Batting and bowling have clicked for us,” Mithali had said.
The new players in the team are no less than tornados, waiting to wreck the pitches with their game. Some of the best moves this year have come from the fresher faces on the ground.
1. Shikha Pandey
This 26 year old from Goa is confident with the bat and with the ball both. The first cricketer from Goa to be a part of any international team after Dilip Sardesai, Shikha is a tigress prowling on the pitch. She was very important for India’s win against South Africa in November 2014 where she scored 59 runs and took 3 wickets.
Shikha has a degree in Electronics Engineering from the University of Goa and works for the Indian Air Force. She is now an integral cog to the Indian women’s national team.
“When I started playing cricket, I used to wake up at 5.30 AM to watch the Ashes. I remember my father telling me that the true form of cricket is Test cricket, so I thought that if I did play cricket any time, I’d want to be a Test cricketer.”
2. Anuja Patil
23 years old, this youngster from Kolhapur has been playing for Maharashtra since 2009. She had recently shined in the first match between India and Sri Lanka in February
2016 where she took 3 wickets, one in the first over itself. Her cameo appearance with the bat was what ended the game with a flourish, with a 22 not out, which included 3 fours- getting her her first Player of the match award.
“Our team combination is just right. Batting and bowling are both clicking for us at the moment, which is a good thing. We’ve improved a lot in the recent past. We have that confidence to win now,” says Anuja.
3. Poonam Yadav
This player from Agra, UP is one strong bowler the Indian team can bank on. Proving her worth during the second match between India and Sri Lanka, Poonam had taken 2 wickets and given out only 17 runs, thus joining hands with Ekta Bisht and catapulting the Indian team to success.
4. Rajeshwari Gayakwad
Rajeshwari Shivanand Gaikwad is from Bijapur, Karnataka. A 24 year old left arm unorthodox bowler, Rajeshwari played in one test match against South Africa. Social and financial problems didn’t succeed in bringing down this determined cricketer as she paved her way from the Karnataka women’s team to the National team. She is now looking forward to the World T20.
“People now realise their daughters can make a career out of cricket. After I broke onto the Indian team and got a job with Western Railways our lives changed for the better,” says Rajeshwari.
5. Deepti Sharma
She was a star in the third and final ODI against Sri Lanka in Ranchi where she took 6 wickets out of 7 and speeded up India’s win. A cricketer from Agra, UP, she had come to watch her brother play cricket when the ball came to her. She threw it directly at the stumps, causing Hemlata Kala, another Indian woman player, to see her talent.
On persuasion, Deepti started off and never looked back, achieving milestones in every game.
We can expect promisingly exciting games from these women this March.
Stay tuned for more of their karnamas on the field.