“Chinnaswamy was always special to me”: Asha Sobhana

“Chinnaswamy was always special to me”: Asha Sobhana suggests whenever she bowled here she had some advantages.

“Chinnaswamy was always special to me”: Asha Sobhana. PC: Crickethub TV
“Chinnaswamy was always special to me”: Asha Sobhana. PC: Crickethub TV

The Indian women’s cricket team, under the leadership of skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, is hosting South Africa for a multi-format series from June 16 to July 9, featuring three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) at Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore. India with back-to-back wins, has secured the ODI series 2-0.

Following the ODI series, the teams will compete in a one-off, four-day red-ball Test match and three Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is), all in Chennai.

Ahead of the second ODI, the 31-year-old spinner from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, attributed her splendid debut to the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Asha expressed her deep fondness for Chinnaswamy Stadium, highlighting its special place in her heart. She revealed that her connection to the venue predates her tenure with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), extending back to her Under-19 days. Asha fondly recalled how bowling at Chinnaswamy has always provided her with certain advantages, contributing to her confidence and performance on the field. The stadium holds cherished memories and significance, making it a beloved and impactful venue in her cricketing journey.

“Chinnaswamy, of course, is very special for me. Even before I was playing for RCB, Chinnaswamy was always special to me. From my Under-19 days, whenever I bowl here, I got some advantages,” Sobhana said.

Asha Sobhana, who got a breakthrough via the Women’s Premier League (WPL), played for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) from the inaugural season. However, it was the 2024 WPL season that changed her life in a blink, registering a five-wicket haul in her first match itself, becoming champions with RCB, a national call-up, a T20I debut against Bangladesh, and then an ODI debut against South Africa.

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Asha reflected on the recent match with great pride, emphasizing her personal commitment to delivering her best performance. She acknowledged South Africa’s strength, noting the team’s formidable players like Marizanne Kapp and Sune Luus. Despite this, she expressed satisfaction with her team’s dominant victory, highlighting the significance of their 143-run margin. Asha highlighted the collective effort and strategy that led to their success, celebrating the accomplishment of bowling out such a talented opposition. This victory, she believes, is a testimony to their hard work and unity as a team.

Regarding India’s win against South Africa in the 1st ODI, she said, “Personally, I wanted to do my best. South Africa is a very good side, glad we won by such a big margin (of 143 runs). We have been watching them playing, they have some great players like Kapp and Sune Luus, and getting them all out is a great achievement as a team.”6

In the 1st ODI, she had bowling figures of 4/22 to help India bowl out the star-studded South Africa for 122 in their chase of 266.

She mentioned that WPL and RCB played a major role in her life, emphasizing that it’s not easy to come and play at the international level. Playing at a crowded stadium during the WPL, the experience RCB gave her was very special.

Asha emphasized the importance of adhering to her fundamentals and playing to her strengths during the first ODI. She highlighted the significance of variations in her bowling strategy, noting that Marizanne Kapp, one of her favorite players, epitomizes the skill and challenge posed by the South African team. Asha explained that given the caliber of the opposition, they couldn’t afford to bowl predictably, as the experienced players would quickly adapt. Instead, they focused on varying their pace to disrupt the batters’ rhythm and induce mistakes, a tactic that proved effective in their comprehensive victory.

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“I always stick to my basics and my strengths. That is what I did. Variations are key. Kapp is one of my favorite players,” she mentioned on what she did during the 1st ODI. Further on she added, “They have some of the greatest players in their team, so we cannot bowl in the same way each time, or they will pick it up. We tried to vary the pace to create something and make them commit some errors.”

When asked about her idols, she mentioned that Sachin Tendulkar has always been her inspiration. As a bowler, she followed Anil Kumble during her childhood, and she also admired Stuart MacGill and Nitu David. Currently, she likes Yuzvendra Chahal.

The quote’s credits are of News18 and news agency – PTI

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