CWG 2022: Harmanpreet Kaur will lead India to the gold medal; everyone misses Mithali Raj, says India wicket-keeper batter Yastika Bhatia | Commonwealth Games 2022 News

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Yastika Bhatia (Photo by Peter Meecham/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI: The preparations are complete, the cricket kit is ready and Yastika Bhatia now aims to let his bat do the talking on the next Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham. India’s T20 team led by Harmanpreet Kaur are in Group A alongside arch-rivals Pakistan, Australia and Barbados. The Women in Blue will open their campaign against Australia on July 29.
Women’s cricket will be played for the first time at CTM and there is a palpable excitement to see this Tam Inia do what the 1998 men’s team in Kuala Lumpur couldn’t – win a medal.
Yastika, a 21-year-old middle-ranked batsman and wicketkeeper from Gujarat, is part of the Indian squad as first-choice keeper and is confident that India will shine in their maiden appearance in women’s cricket at the Olympics. Commonwealth. caught up with Yastika, who has played a Test, 16 ODIs and 5 T20Is for India so far, to talk about India’s gold medal chances in the CWG, their group, receiving their first cap from the legendary Mithali Rajand much more…
India’s women’s cricket team will be competing in its first Commonwealth Games. What do you think are the chances of winning a medal?
I am very excited about the Commonwealth Games. We all recently attended a fitness camp. We are all prepared and ready for the event. Our team is very strong. We are thrilled as this is our first CWG. This is a great opportunity for all of us to bring a gold medal to our country. We haven’t left a stone unturned during practices or net sessions. We’re all super excited. Of course, we are aiming for the gold medal. We have a young team and we are full of energy. We played cricket well. our captain Harmanpreet Kaur always leads from the front. I am convinced that she will take India to a gold medal.
India are in Group A alongside Pakistan, Australia and Barbados. The most excitement is of course for the India vs Pak clash on July 31…
It will be a very good match (India vs Pakistan). We cannot take any team lightly. All matches are important to us. We are delighted with all the matches. We all want to take one game at a time. All I want to say is that we are all prepared and ready to face any team. The best team that day will win the game. I look forward to the challenge. I’m sure our team will do well.
You are the first choice wicketkeeper for the CWG ahead of Taniya Bhatia. Are you ready for this big challenge?
I always wanted to play for India. Wearing an Indian jersey is a very big thing. It is a dream for any cricketer. I wanted to play for India but more than that I want to win every game for my team. I want to be a finisher. I always go in the middle with a winning mindset. I want to be a player who can get the team out of trouble in a given situation. I want to be a player in all formats and in all situations. I want to give my best and 100% to the CWG. There are many people who have played a big role in my career. My parents, support staff, seniors and coaches – I’m here because of them. I am truly grateful to them. They supported me a lot.
Who is your inspiration and why?
My parents. They inspired me a lot. Their support has been immense and without it, I wouldn’t be here. They have supported me throughout my career. They never said ‘no’ to me and fulfilled my every wish with a smile. I admire Smriti Mandhana in cricket because she is also left-handed. She is a fearless cricketer and that is why I admire her. It’s a privilege to share the closet with her. Playing alongside him is a dream come true for me. Off the field, I ask her a lot of questions and she is happy to answer them and help me. I learned a lot from her. She is a positive cricketer and gives smart suggestions. I love being with her and learning from her.
How did you start playing cricket?
From 6 to 12 years old, I played for fun, like all other children. My parents saw me play and met Madame Purnima (childhood coach) and that’s how it started. Madam Purnima guided me from the beginning. She said I had talent and needed advice. She told my parents when I was 13 that I would play for India. Today, I am really proud to have proven him right. Wearing the India jersey was the only thing that crossed my mind.
Mithali Raj gave you your first cap in India…
It was a priceless moment. I was moved when Mithali Didi gave me my first cap before the draw (India vs Australia T20I at Mackay on September 21, 2021). It was a moment of emotion and pride for me. I had this dream for a long time and it finally came true. I just can’t describe this feeling in words. This moment gave me so much energy. We were playing against Australia so there was more energy in me.
In the locker room, is the team missing Mithali Raj?
Obviously, there is a void. It is very difficult to fill one’s shoes. Being a senior and a player with an abundance of experience, she encouraged and guided everyone. We all miss her.


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