All-rounders are very important in the game of cricket. Having an all-rounder who can score quick runs, and bowl tight lines will always be a better choice for a team rather than playing a specialist batter or specialist bowler. Kapil Dev, Yuvraj Singh, Ravindra Jadeja are notable names for India who have contributed immensely to India's success. Similarly, one woman proving to be the x-factor for Women in Blue is Sneh Rana.
Ever since her resurrection in the Indian team in 2021 after 5 long years, Rana has proved to be a vital cog in India's success as a team. With her solid technique, she plays the spinners as well as pacers well. With her street smartness and unorthodox shots, she makes the ball reach the boundary fence despite however good the field is set. And with the ball in her hands, she turns the game in India's favour either by scalping crucial wickets at crucial juncture s or by choking the run flow thereby creating opposition pressure.
In all the departments of the game, this girl brings life to the Indian squad. However, her life and her cricketing career is not something which she has achieved easily. Hailing from a farmer family in Uttarakhand, she started playing the game at the 9. With all her efforts she made it to the Indian squad when she made her debut against Sri Lanka in 2014. In the first of a few matches, she did not get a chance to bat but did well with the ball.
In 2016 however, she suffered a knee injury which forced the team to drop her. The injury proved costly to her as she had to wait for a long time to make a comeback. After recovering from the injury, she worked hard on her fitness and played domestic cricket for Railways. While on one hand, she continued to perform better waiting for India's call up, a tragedy struck her family in 2020, when she lost her beloved father. She was devastated but was still determined to make a comeback after suffering from so many setbacks.
After waiting for almost half a decade, she was selected for the Women in the Blue squad against England. In one of the finest tales of resurrection, she made the opportunity count. In the one odd test match which Indian women were playing after 7 long years, Sneh Rana scalped 4 wickets and played a sensational unbeaten knock of 80 runs to draw the match after they were enforced follow on. Her all-around performance garnered praise from all over the world.
Thereafter, the strong girl did wonders whenever she got an opportunity to play in the playing eleven for team India. With her bat, with the ball, or on the field, she displayed strong character which helped India's cause. In many instances, her unorthodox cricketing shots gave India much-needed acceleration. In the historic match against Australia, when India broke Australia's winning streak of 26 matches, Sneh Rana turned the match in India's tide by hitting 3 consecutive unorthodox boundaries in the 47th which helped India chase the total.
Her biggest strength is her game awareness. At times she takes time to get going but still steals singles and doubles, and at times it looks like she has all the time in the world to hit the very first ball over the boundary. Her paddle sweep and scoop display her street smartness, her crunchy drives and cuts show her elegance, and her bottom handed lofted shots display the power she has. When it comes to her bowling, her quick variations are difficult for the batter to catch, and give India the necessary breakthroughs. Her game awareness was seen in the Challenger Trophy final when she led her team to lift the title.
Carrying the confidence of winning challenger trophy, she made her intentions of fighting till the end in World cup too. Her gritty innings with Pooja Vastrakar in India's first game against Pakistan powered India to victory. Similarly, her quick innings in other matches have just saved India from a low scoring total to getting a defendable total. Plus her wicket-taking ability has proved to be a boon for India.
As of now, the star has scored 100 runs and has scalped 10 wickets in the tournament. Her all-around performance has been one of the reasons for India's success. In the most amazing tales of resurrection, she has come a long way from being not in the international circuit for 5 years, to being the player who brings perfect balance to the Indian squad. Needless to say, if this champ plays with the same intent, she will be the reason for India's world cup triumph. If that happens, that will bring smiles to the faces of billions and will make her father smile from heaven.
Authored By:- Ashwin Jangam ( Cricket Analyst, Host and Entertainer)
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