Indian women's cricket team will be playing their first-ever game of the Asian Games 2023 on Thursday in China. When BCCI announced the squad for the Asian Games, two of the fifteen players got their maiden India call-ups; Titas Sadhu and Kanika Ahuja. Although Titas had already attracted the attention of many greats of the game during the 2023 ICC U19 Women's World Cup, she did not get to showcase her skills at the senior level post that. Asian Games 2023 will be her golden opportunity to grab that attention again, this time at the highest level.
Born into a sporting family, Titas always had the discipline and athleticism within her to be successful at any sport. She chose cricket or you can say Cricket chose her. Initially a sprinter, Titas Sadhu used to play with the boys in her neighbourhood when her father noticed her ability to bowl and rattle stumps. Since then, it has been quite a few years for her.
Titas was fast-tracked by the Cricket Association of Bengal after Shib Shankar Paul, a former Bengal pacer and then Bengal Women's coach saw her in the U-19 trials. Till then, Titas Sadhu did not have to look back.
Always a quick learner Titas Sadhu kept on learning new skills as she kept on playing at higher levels. Being a sprinter helped her as well physically and being a good student helped her learn new skills quicker than anyone. Coach Priyankar Mukherjee told that story to Sportz Point right after Titas Sadhu won the player of the match in a winning cause for India in the ICC U-19 World Cup final.
During the ICC U-19 World Cup final, one of the commentators had analysed her bowling action as "perfect". A great runup that gets quicker when she approaches the crease, a solid loading to make herself ready before landing on the back foot and then quickly transferring the weight before blocking the front foot with a brace front leg and then snapping the wrist followed by a great follow through; the action cannot get better.
Till now in her List-A and T20 career, Titas Sadhu has taken 23 wickets and 9 wickets of them have been bowled or LBW which speaks for her accuracy and pace.
If we dig deeper into her action, it is her athletic ability to run well and fast, keeping her eyes and hips level and balanced make her a sight to watch. Her open chest loading then helps her to aim at her target spot. Then comes the best part when she does not waste any of her momentum gathered from the runup while landing. A soft backfoot landing helps Titas transfer her energy to her hips to create hip-shoulder separation. The hip-shoulder separation creates the torque to generate power as she blocks her front foot. The braced front foot then helps her utilise that generated power to full effect. In the end, the follow-through makes sure she is following the line of the delivery to neglect any chance of injury.
Moreover, the pace she generates is a no-match in the Indian Women's Cricket circuit now and she has the perfect balance between intelligence and aggression to rattle any opponent. Her ability with the bat is a plus point and she surely can be a very good all-rounder given a proper chance to hit the ball long.
All of these prospects make her one of the most promising talents in India at the moment and Titas's father Ranadeep Sadhu believes that with the talent she has, he knew that sooner or later he will see Titas wearing that Indian jersey one day. Moreover, he feels that if Titas gets three games to prove her talent and does justice to 80% of her ability, it will not be tough for her to cement her place in the team. He feels Titas should focus on the things she has been doing in the past and then follow her natural instinct.
Titas was part of the history when the U19 Women's team the inaugural U19 Women's World Cup. Now with Indian cricket playing in the Asian Games for the first time, Titas can be part of history again. Ranadeep Sadhu agrees with the fact that this generation of women's cricketers is very lucky to have these moments in their lives. So, they must work hard and be sincere to grab these opportunities and create history.
Indian Women's Cricket team has been looking for a good pace bowler for a long now after the retirement of Jhulan Goswami. But unfortunately, they have not found someone who either remained fit for long or performed consistently to keep her place in the team. With the selectors and team management willing to experiment with a few youngsters, a confident, fast and fiery Titas Sadhu would be one of the most exciting talents to watch out for in the Asian Games and schedule after that.
|September 19, Tuesday||Indonesia vs Mongolia||A||6:30 AM|
|September 19, Tuesday||Hong Kong vs Malaysia||B||11:30 AM|
|September 20, Wednesday||Loser match 1 vs Loser match 2||Quarter-final qualifier||6:30 AM|
|September 21, Thursday||India (1st ranked team) vs TBD||Quarter-final 1 (QF 1)||6:30 AM|
|September 21, Thursday||Pakistan (2nd ranked team) vs TBD||Quarter-final 2 (QF 2)||11:30 AM|
|September 22, Friday||Sri Lanka (3rd ranked team) vs TBD||Quarter-final 3 (QF 3)||6:30 AM|
|September 22, Friday||Bangladesh (4th ranked team) vs TBD||Quarter-final 4 (QF 4)||11:30 AM|
|September 24, Sunday||Winner QF 1 vs Winner QF 4||Semi-final 1 (SF 1)||6:30 AM|
|September 24, Sunday||Winner QF 2 vs Winner QF 3||Semi-final 2 (SF 2)||11:30 AM|
|September 25, Monday||Loser SF 1 vs Loser SF 2||3rd/4th match (Bronze medal playoff)||6:30 AM|
|September 25, Monday||Winner SF 1 vs Winner SF 2||Final (Gold medal match)||11:30 AM|