The Indian women’s Ccicket team, which is ready to take ther flight to England, includes rookie wicketkeeper-batter Indrani Roy from Jharkhand for her maiden Test and ODI call-up for India’s month-long overseas tour
The India women’s cricket team put up a dismal performance when they welcomed South Africa in March 2021, losing 4 of the 5 ODIs and 2 of the 3 T20 internationals. Brushing aside the bad outing, the team is now getting ready to travel for the tour to England, scheduled from June 16.
The highly-anticipated tour consists of a Test and three ODIs and T20Is each. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) women’s selection committee, led by former left-arm spinner Neetu David, recently announced the squads.
Alongside regulars like Mithali Raj (Test and ODI captain) and Harmanpreet Kaur (T20 captain), etc, there has been a surprising addition. Rookie wicketkeeper and batsman, Indrani Roy, who plays for Jharkhand, earned her maiden India call-up. She has been included for all three formats on the back of stellar performances in the recently-concluded Senior Women’s One-Day Tournament, where she accumulated 456 runs in 8 matches and was the leading run-scorer in the tournament.
Indrani started playing cricket at 15, but her career almost ended soon after. As she started securing lower grades in school, her father forbade her from playing cricket.
Indrani was not one to give up on her dreams easily. She kept searching for places where girls were offered coaching and finally found one under Pachu Gopal Majhi. The coach convinced the young girl’s father to let her play, and her career took off.
Born in Howrah district of West Bengal in 1997, Indrani started playing for Bengal after being selected for the U-19 team in 2014. Her first stint was a successful one with the state finishing champions that year. After playing for Bengal till 2017, Indrani shifted to Jharkhand in search of greener pastures. That was the right move as she became a regular in the Jharkhand team.
It was during a training session last year that Indrani met MS Dhoni, and the massive ‘Mahi fan’ wasted no time in seeking tips from one of the greatest to grace the sport. Dhoni did not disappoint and explained how important it is for wicket-keepers to improve their movement and reflexes within the 5-meter radius and advised her to perfect this key point.
Indrani admits the tips have made her better and she always keeps them in mind.
Indrani was a part of the India Blue team in 2018, and in 2019 played for India C. Her stints with the bat may not have been memorable, but she enjoyed a good time behind the wicket. Her most memorable achievement, which is the reason behind her maiden India call-up, was her run scoring in the Senior Women’s One-Day Tournament. There were 2 unbeaten centuries in her tournament tally of 456 runs in 8 matches.
Her determination was on show against Chhattisgarh when Jharkhand, having lost one game, needed to chase down 175 runs in 31 overs to qualify for the knockouts. The 23-year old hit an unbeaten ton to steer her team to victory and secure qualification. Indrani is happy her hard work has finally paid off. Now, she wants to learn from the seniors and give her all for the country if she gets a chance.
In all probability, Taniya Bhatia will be donning the gloves for the Test against England, but there is hope for the free-scoring Indrani as she might get a spot in the playing XI in the limited-over matches.
Text and photos, courtesy: SportSavour