Updated: Oct 15
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.