Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Playing a 50-over game for India a dream come true for spinner Sobhana


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BENGALURU, June 17: After taking four wickets on debut as India thrashed South Africa by 143 runs in the ODI series opener at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, leg-spinner Asha Sobhana said making her 50-over debut for the country is a dream come true moment for her.
Playing at the ground where she became the first Indian bowler to take a five-wicket haul in this year’s Women’s Premier League (WPL), Asha spun the ball well and got a good nip on her stump-to-stump deliveries to pick 4-21 in 8.4 overs, as South Africa were bowled out for 122 in 37.4 overs in a tall chase of 266.
“I am short of words actually because when I started playing cricket, it was only 50 overs we saw on TV. I wanted to play for India and it finally happened – playing in the 50-over game for India is a dream come true moment for me. I would call it miraculous as this happening at the age of 33 is a miracle,” said Asha in a video posted on bcci.tv.
She also talked about how manifesting for taking Marizanne Kapp as her maiden ODI wicket came true in Sunday’s match. “Taking out Kappie (Marizanne Kapp) is special, because a few days ago when we were having lunch at the NCA, I was telling Jemi (Jemimah Rodrigues) that ‘I want Kappie as my debut wicket’. Whichever match you play, getting Kappie’s wicket is always special, as the kind of player she is – a legendary batter. So, God’s been kind.”
Asha, now the oldest women’s ODI debutant for India, made her T20I debut on the tour of Bangladesh last month and won WPL this year with RCB. She feels she has a special connection with the Chinnaswamy stadium.
“I am feeling so amazing. I didn’t expect to get four wickets on my debut. But all thanks to God, I had been praying and asking him for it. It’s a special feeling, especially coming to Bengaluru – the stadium and people here – and being in Namma Chinnaswamy. Either wearing a red (RCB) or blue (India) jersey, people at Chinnaswamy are always supporting us.” Smriti, who captained Asha in two seasons for RCB at the WPL, also had words of praise for the veteran leg-spinner after the match ended.
“The kind of experience she has, I don’t know what nerves she will have. I have seen her journey in the last two years. I had seen her in 2018 or 2017, she was playing (Senior Women’s) Challengers and I went ‘Oh wow, she can actually turn the ball!’”
“The way she bowled, turning square, I’m happy that she is on my team because whenever I face her at the nets, being a leftie against a leg-spinner, she doesn’t give anything easy, it’s hard to hit her over the top. That’s the first thing I saw in the WPL prep. It’s really hard because being a leftie I love leg-spinners and I couldn’t go over the top to Asha. This also shows what strengths she has.” (IANS)


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