‘I wasn’t nervous, but my mother was praying for me’ says Taniya Bhatia

Nitin Sharma
Taniya Bhatia, Harleen Kaur Deol, ICC T20, World Cup, ODI World Cup, BCCI Women’s league, Chandigarh, chandigarh cricket team, chandigarh womens cricket team, Mohali womens cricket team, Chandigarh Latest News, Punjab, Indian Express

22-year-old Chandigarh wicket-keeper Taniya Bhatia has been selected for the Indian team. (File)

On Sunday as the Indian team for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup to be held in Australia from February 21 was announced, 22-year-old Chandigarh wicket-keeper Taniya Bhatia made a call to her parents in Chandigarh.

Bhatia’s mother Sapna Bhatia had called the wicket-keeper batswoman early Sunday and told her that she was praying for her inclusion in the Indian team and could not sleep the whole night expecting Bhatia’s call up to the Indian team.

Along with Bhatia, Mohali all-rounder 21-year-old Harleen Kaur Deol, who represents Himachal Pradesh, too made it to the 15-member Indian team and Bhatia, who will be playing in her second T20 World cup, sounded excited about the world cup challenge.

“While I was not nervous, my mother was very nervous and when I told her about my inclusion in the Indian team for World Cup, she told me that she could not sleep properly last night and was praying for me. It feels good to be part for the Indian team for my second World Cup and I am glad that I made it to the team based on my recent performances.

From the day I started playing cricket, I idolized former Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist and has met him 6-7 years ago. To play in the T20 World cup in Australia is a huge opportunity and if I can help India win the world cup, I also expect to meet him in Australia,” shared Bhatia, who is a student of BA-II at MCM DAV College, Sector 36.

Daughter of former cricketer Sanjay Bhatia, who now works in Central Bank of India, Taniya started playing cricket at eight under former Indian cricketer Yograj Singh at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8.

Taniya had made history when she became the youngest player at 13 to play for senior Punjab team in 2011. Taniya was in the probables list for the Indian team for the 2017 ODI World Cup and made her T20I debut for India in South Africa in February 2018.

The same year, she made her ODI debut against Sri Lanka in September and the wicket-keeper batswoman has so far played in 15 ODI’s and 40 T20I’s including 2018 ICC T20 World Cup in West Indies, where India reached the semi-finals. This year, Bhatia has been part of Indian team during England and South Africa tour to India apart from the West Indies tour.

“When I missed my chance for the 2017 ODI World Cup, I knew I had to improve my batting and I worked on it. Scoring a century in my debut ODI series against Sri Lanka gave me a lot of confidence.

Playing in 2018 T20 world Cup in West Indies also made me believe in my abilities and our captain Harmanpreet Kaur Bhullar, who also captains Punjab side, shared a lot of tips with me. I have been also working on my fitness, which included leaving lot of food, which I love.

This year, I did not get much chances to bat in T20’s but the knock of 31 runs off 19 balls for India A against India C in Challenger Trophy earlier this month boosted my confidence a lot,” shared Bhatia, who represents Punjab.

Taniya Bhatia, Harleen Kaur Deol, ICC T20, World Cup, ODI World Cup, BCCI Women’s league, Chandigarh, chandigarh cricket team, chandigarh womens cricket team, Mohali womens cricket team, Chandigarh Latest News, Punjab, Indian Express

Mohali Harleen Kaur Deol also made it to the Indian team. (File)

Mohali-based Harleen Kaur Deol too started playing cricket at a young age of seven years and had joined the Himachal Pradesh U-19 academy at Dharamshala in 2012.

Deol had scored 288 runs and claimed 11 wickets in BCCI Women’s league in 2018 and had emerged as the highest scorer for India Red with 120 runs in last year’s Challenger Trophy.

Early this year the off-spinner made her ODI debut against England in February and has also played in five T20’s so far, in which she has claimed three wickets. Deol and Bhatia will also be part of Indian team for the tri-series including India, England and Australia in Australia starting January 31.

“Before the challenger trophy this year, I suffered from a toe fracture and missed some matches including the India A tour. But I have been working on my fitness and have been seeing videos of spinners bowling in Australia.

The wickets in Australia don’t’ turn much and wrist spinners have to rely on spin and other variations to take wickets,” said Deol, whose parents BS Deol and Charanjit Kaur Deol are based in sector 80, Mohali.