Titas Sadhu – the teen Pace Sensation from Bengal picked in India’s U19 Squad

This right-arm pace sensation may have picked up cricket for fun as a child, but if you see her bowling today, you will know that she means nothing but serious business. Titas Sadhu from Bengal was recently announced in the India Women’s U19 squad to take on New Zealand Women’s U19 in a five-match T20 series in Mumbai from November 27 to December 6. Titas has been doing wonders at the U19 level and stamped her authority at the senior level.

 

Female Cricket interviews Titas Sadhu.
Female Cricket interviews Titas Sadhu.

 

Female Cricket got in touch with this dashing speedster to learn more about her cricketing journey, from playing in her father’s academy to rubbing shoulders with Jhulan Goswami and many more.

Excerpts

Congratulations, Titas, for being selected in India Women’s U19 squad. Next, you will play against New Zealand Women’s U19 in a five-match T20 series. How does it feel?

I am ecstatic. Right from that day, I decided to make cricket my focus. I wanted to knock on the India door. I am glad that I am a step closer.

Recently you featured in the Women’s U19 T20 Quadrangular series that saw India A, India B, Sri Lanka, and West Indies. Can you tell us about your experience?

For the first time, we played against international teams like Sri Lanka and West Indies. We didn’t know about them, and neither did they about us. However, we understand how the West Indian teams play their cricket. They have some powerful players who can hit the ball hard. We played our first game against the West Indies. I had jitters at the start. But as the game progressed, I felt better. We thoroughly dominated the match and ended up on the winning side. Overall it was a fun-filled experience. Wearing that India jersey for the first time and playing with your friends is always great. Also, this series was helpful since the World Cup is just around the corner.

 

Titas Sadhu in action. PC: Supplied
Titas Sadhu in action. PC: Female Cricket

 

We know that you have been a fantastic cricketer and have made incredible progress in your journey. But take us back and talk to us about your early days in cricket.

I took up cricket without any intention of playing the sport seriously. My father ran a cricket academy, and many players trained under him. For the first two years since my father started his academy, I didn’t play. It was only on a one fine rainy day when the practice was called off, and my father said, “Let’s go.” Both of us went out barefoot. He handed me a tennis ball and asked me to bowl. That was the first time I bowled. Though I had a sporting background with swimming, running, and athletics, cricket was one sport that I didn’t play as such. I had a cricketing environment around, with many of my friends playing. Also, there were many Ranji players in my area. After that day, when I bowled for the first time, I thought of joining the academy since I would get a chance to mingle with my friends and play with them.

At what age did you start playing the sport, and how did you progress?

I started playing cricket when I was 13. I gave the trials for the state team but could not make it. I was an in-swinger back then. The following year I tried again, and I was selected in the probables. However, that year I had my 10th standard board exams. So, I decided to take a break from cricket and concentrate on academics. After my 10th, there was a COVID-19 pandemic, and the cricketing calendar was disturbed. We also had senior tournaments. In the 2020-21 season, I made my debut for the senior Bengal team. I was 16 then. It is interesting the way things panned out. I was a net bowler for the senior team. During one of the practice sessions, Shib Sankar Paul sir saw me and asked me to play practice matches that the senior team was playing. I played three practice games, and to my surprise, I was named in the senior squad and was traveling to Rajkot. I was the youngest in the team, and it was not easy for me to gel with the senior players.

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Titas Sadhu with Captain Shweta Sehrawat. PC: Female Cricket
Titas Sadhu with Captain Shweta Sehrawat. PC: Female Cricket

 

Do you recall your debut match?

It is quite a horrific memory. I bowled the second over of the match after our captain Rumeli Dhar bowled the first. The first ball I bowled in my domestic career went for a wide and boundary. I did not perform well in the first two matches. Later I was dropped for the rest of the tournament. I also fielded in one game against Railways for two to three overs. Thirushkamini was batting, and I just prayed that she does not hit the ball towards me. I was standing at mid-on. Thankfully she didn’t.

After a not-so-memorable debut, how did you pull yourself up?

After the senior tournament, we had inter-district matches in Bengal. We also had a few CAB (Cricket Association of Bengal) tournaments. I did well there and was picked for the senior team again. Unlike the last season when I played the seniors, I was a part of the camp this year. So I got a chance to prove myself. I also gelled with the team.

You made your U19 debut after playing for the seniors. Can you tell us about your first U19 tournament?

The women’s U19 one-day tournament was my first experience playing at the U19 level. I think I picked up five wickets in four matches. I was dropped for a couple of games. Though I didn’t account for many scalps, I bowled at a good economy. By God’s grace, I was selected for the Challengers, and there was no looking back. I also played in the senior women’s T20 this year. I was the highest wicket-taker for Bengal, and everything has been smooth since then.

Titas Sadhu in action. PC: Female Cricket
Titas Sadhu in action. PC: Female Cricket

 

Bengal boasts of star players like Jhulan Goswami, Rumeli Dhar, Deepti Sharma, and Richa Ghosh, to name a few. How has been your interaction with them?

I have known Richa for a long. Then Deepti di, she is very sweet. She asks me to be my natural self. I made my debut under the captainship of Rumi di (Rumeli Dhar), and she has been very supportive from day one. She often tells me that a good ball is a good ball, whoever the batter is. Finally, Jhulu di (Jhulan Goswami) has been my inspiration. I remember the day when I won my first player of the match award. I received it from Jhulu di. It was for my batting. Though I didn’t get to talk to her much that day, I had the opportunity to speak during the senior camps. Whenever you talk to her, you know that she is aware of everything happening in your life. One thing that she told me will always remain with me, and that is you are a child. You don’t have to think much. You just have to bowl fast.

Also Read:  Interview with Gargi Banerji, former Indian national player

You featured in the Women’s Bengal T20 Challenge this year. Tell us more about it.

We had Bengal T20 Challenge early this year. The tournament was important since the players who performed well had a high chance of reaching the next level. I had a good outing with bat and ball. I bowled at an economy rate of under three runs per over and, with the bat, played some valuable knocks toward the back end of the innings. I had a healthy average and strike rate. I remained unbeaten in most of the matches. I think my performance in that tournament helped me get picked for the senior team this year.

After a phenomenal run at the domestic level, you have made it to India Women’s U19. How are you preparing for the World Cup, which is just around the corner? When did you come to know about the World Cup?

I was sitting at home when there was a Google notification on my phone about the World Cup. Though the training has remained the same since then, the goal has changed. I have also practiced in such a way that I want to play in the first XI of India. As a fast bowler, I aim to hit the off-stump bail. I want to be consistent and bowl more wicket-taking deliveries. Also, I think the team dominating the powerplay wins the T20. Being an opening bowler who bowls inside the powerplay, my job is to restrict the runs and be aggressive. Besides bowling, I have been working on my batting. I want to play more square of the wicket. I have also added the scoop to my armoury.

Rapid Fire

Which batter do you want to get out?

At this moment, Shweta Sherawat. We have been playing together a lot. I have also bowled to her during ZCA matches.

Which is that bowler whom you enjoy facing?

I like to hit everyone (smiles) because I am out if I don’t hit.

Which is your favourite shot?

Straight over the bowler

Which is your favourite mode of dismissal?

Caught at slip

Which is your favourite food?

Anything in Chinese

Which is your favourite movie?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

What are your hobbies?

At the moment, it is training. I like reading too.

Who is your role model?

Rumeli Dhar and Jhulan Goswami

Which is the best cricketing advice that you have received?

Khelna hai toh India khelne ke liye khelo (If you want to play, play as if you’re going to play for India)

Read more such inspiring stories of our U19 Stars here

I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.

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