Updated: Oct 15, 2021
This article is about a gem who has captained the Baroda Under-23 team that performed well in the National U-23 Women’s T20 Cricket Tournament
She earned her maiden call-up to the India women's cricket team, for their limited overs matches against South Africa limited-overs
Author:- Ashwin Jangam (Cricket Analyst, host, poet, entertainer)
Insta I'd:- cricket_creativity
Baroda Cricket has always been a hub of great cricketers representing the country and making Indians proud. The likes of Vijay Hazare, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Hardik Pandya, Amrita Joseph, Radha Yadav and many others have served Indian cricket. But it was another popular name in Baroda, which won hearts and became a household name for Indians in the Australia series. The batswoman we are talking about is Yastika Bhatia.
The left-hander, who made her debut in all three formats in this series, has impressed every cricket fan with her batting style. She showed her class in the very first game scoring a crucial knock of 35 runs for the team. In her only 3rd ODI, she scored her maiden half-century in style scoring an important knock of 64 runs. Her partnership with Shafali was crucial for the game.
But when Shafali's wicket fell, she took the complete responsibility to carry the scorecard forward. While the new battery was on the crease and with a required run rate of approximate 6 runs per over, the 21-year-old ferociously attacked the Australian bowlers. She pulled the Australian bouncers in style demonstrating immense confidence. Her technique, combined with calculated risks kept the Women in Blue in the hunt to breach Australia's winning streak.
While her batting was a delight to watch for the Indians which they witnessed for the first time in this series, this was not new to the Baroda Cricket fans. The stalwart, hailing from Baroda started playing her professional cricket at the age of 8. She impressed everyone including the coach the first time she went on the ground. She was always a follower of women's cricket and wished women's cricket have glory days to come. Little did she know, that she would be playing a very important part of one of the most amazing ODI wins for Women In Blue bringing glory to the team by her scintillating performance.
In the accomplishment of her dream, her parents have a huge role to play. Her family was criticised for sending their daughter to play cricket, but that didn't bother them at all, and thanks to them, that India got a future star. An example of her family support and her dedication was witnessed by their neighbours when her father created a pitch for her to practice in her society during the lockdown as the stadiums were closed for the practice.
Courtesy: ESPN CRIC INFO
The dedication of the wicketkeeper-batswoman was the reason she performed well in domestic cricket for Baroda. She earned a well deserved spot in the U-19 squad of the country where she kept upping her performance. She then went on to represent Indian A, India B and India C teams on various occasions. But, In the year 2020, she along with her Baroda teammates suffered from trauma, which affected her severely. But as they say, champions are not the ones who don't face problems, champions are the ones who overcome these problems with great courage and might. Likewise, she developed her game even further recovering from the trauma and improved her game, showing immense character and willpower.
Her improved batting gave her the maiden call up for Women in Blue. She made her debut in all three formats against the mighty Aussies in style. Seemed like she was making a statement of her arrival in international cricket. She garnered the attention of the cricketing world. With her class, supreme technique and enormous confidence, she won the hearts of billion fans. Her pull shots against the Aussies were a treat to watch. They showed the self-belief she had within. It looks like India have found a perfect middle order batswoman they were searching for a long time. With her fan following increased, people noticed the other talents she had.
Wicket-keeper batswoman on the field, Yasti, as she is called by her friends, is a true all-rounder. She is a bright student. On mere 15 days of study, she secures 88.90 percentage in her 12 the standard. The music when she plays the guitar is equally melodious like the ball hitting the sweet spot of her bat while hitting the pull shot.
All in all, the jolly and jovial person and an all-rounder in real life, and a batswoman on the field, Yastika has a bright future. If someone tells me to define Yastika's batting, I would say "she is the perfect combination of technique, blended with aggression and calculated risk-taking ability". She is a player to watch in the future. A player, who has the potential to become one of the best batters in the history of the game in future, it would be a treat to watch her pull shots more often.
She has a very important role to play in fulfilling her dream of bringing glory to women's cricket. On the occasion of Navratri, we wish her more and more power to excel even better and bring joy to the faces of Indians every time she steps to bat.