Indrani Roy, who had a prolific run in the recent senior women’s one-day tournament, is one step away from wearing the Indian jersey. Indrani, a wicket-keeper batter from Jharkhand scored a mammoth 456 runs in the Senior Women’s One-day tournament before getting her maiden call-up. Before leaving for Mumbai, she said “I am prepared for any opportunities that come my way.”
SportzPoint managed to have an exclusive interview with Indrani Roy before she left for Mumbai. The interview was thoroughly arranged by Arindam Samanta, of Cricket Fans of Bengal.
Hailing from Howrah, West Bengal, Indrani always wanted to make her career in cricket. Though, it was over a condition that her academic scores must be good. Indrani was always a good student. So, when her academic score dropped a bit, coach Pachu Gopal Majhi had to step in to convince her parents. Indrani said, “Sir, came to my house to convince my parents after my academic scores went down a bit.” However, her parents were always supportive of her cricket. But, just like any other parents, they wanted to make sure her education is a priority too.
The wicket-keeper batter was not always a wicket-keeper. She had tried her hands on bowling as well with her tremendous batting. But, she switched to wicket-keeping as she thought donning the gloves may give her more opportunities. Coach Pachu Gopal Majhi said, “Indrani always wanted to learn. She would be ready to train after school was over. Her dedication was top-notch.”
From Bengal to Jharkhand
Indrani started her career under the Cricket Association of Bengal. She even represented them in U-19 cricket as well. Though, even after becoming the highest run-getter, she was not finding the wicket-keeper’s spot in the team as there was much competition. “I was playing there as a batter. There were many wicket-keepers in that team. But, I always wanted to be a wicket-keeper batter. So I decided to shift to Jharkhand when the opportunity came. I am thankful to both the associations.”
Coach, Pachu Gopal Majhi added, “One thing that benefited Indrani after shifting to Jharkhand is more matches. She played more matches there which made her game better.”
“MS Dhoni is my idol”
When you are a wicket-keeper batter in India, the chances are that MS Dhoni will be one of our idols. And, if you play for Jharkhand you do not have to look anywhere else for inspiration. Talking about her interactions with MS Dhoni, Indrani said to SportzPoint, “Every little advice from him is a game-changer. He told me to be fit and work on game plannings to get better at my game.”
Prior to the Senior Women’s ODI tournament, Roy had the opportunity to play the Seema Desai T20 tournament and the Jharkhand Women’s T20 Premier League. Though the Seema Desai tournament did not prove to be that fruitful for Roy. However, she cashed it in the Jharkhand Women’s T20 Premier League, grabbing women of the match in 8 out of 9 matches.
“The Jharkhand Premier League turned around my career. We were the champions of the tournament. Moreover, I was the women of the match in the 8 out of 9 matches. That boosted my confidence”, Indrani to SportzPoint.
Then came the Senior One-day tournament where she finished as the highest run-getter. It was Indrani’s performance with the bat that helped Jharkhand qualify for the next round even from a tough group. Roy smashed two of her maiden List-A career tons in that tournament.
According to Roy, “The hundred against Chhattisgarh was special.” Indrani Roy had scored a blistering 103* in 95 balls to see her team home while they needed to chase 175 in 32 overs to qualify. Her other ton came against the Rajasthan Team when he steadied the inning with 130*.
“I want to learn every little thing from the seniors”: Indrani Roy
Indrani Roy was also very transparent about her chances in the playing eleven with senior wicket-keeper Tania Bhatia in the team. She said, “I do not want to think much about that. I am prepared for any opportunity that may come my way. I just to do well for the team.”
While talking about the experience she would get from this tour, Roy added, “I am very good at picking up the good things from seniors. I will surely make sure I learn from the legends like Mithali Raj and Smriti Mandhana while keeping my originality.”
In this tough period, Indrani has tried to do everything to stay fit. “I am focusing on my diet and fitness as this is very essential.”
So, now the question was what was unique in Indrani that made her stand out from the rest?
As told by her coach, Pachu Gopal Majhi, “Her hunger to win and dedication made her the player what she is now. But the main thing is that she is a very humble and good human being and you can not teach someone that.”