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‘People said I couldn’t be an ODI bowler’: Poonam Yadav on rising up to challenges

From being considered as an ineffective bowler in limited-overs matches, India's star spinner Poonam Yadav has become the leading wicket-taker in T20Is over the last two years. 

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: June 25, 2020 1:03:59 pm
Poonam Yadav has been the leading wicket-taker in women’s T20Is over the last two years. (File Photo/T20WorldCup)

Poonam Yadav, the only bowler from the Indian women’s cricket team who is in the top 10 in the ICC Rankings in both the ODI and the T20I format at the moment, said her career has been a tough but rewarding journey.

The leg spinner from Uttar Pradesh spoke about her rise from cycling to training three times a day to the top echelons of the sport in the space of a few years on an Indian Express Facebook Live session on Saturday.

“Whatever people told me I couldn’t do, I took it as a challenge. People said I couldn’t be a limited-overs bowler,” said Yadav, who has stifled batting orders around the world with her pronounced flight of deliveries since then.

From being considered as an ineffective bowler in limited-overs matches, Yadav has become the leading wicket-taker in T20Is over the last two years.

“My only motto is to bowl dot balls. That is what I keep working on,” she said.

“I train for foreign tours by bowling to U-19 boys and girls. I tell them to try and hit every ball I bowl,” she added.

READ | Slow and steady Poonam Yadav wins game

Yadav was the only Indian who was named in the official ICC T20 World Cup XI earlier this year. She took four for 19 in the opener against Australia, bagged three against Bangladesh before rounding off with wickets in each match of the tournament. She said her World Cup performance gave her special joy because she had just made a comeback from injury.

“I had just made a comeback from injury before the World Cup. I was in some dread as to if I would be able to perform on such a big stage. But seeing the faith shown in me by the captain, the selectors, I thought I would have to work my socks off,” she said.

Poonam Yadav celebrates after picking up a wicket. (Source: AP)

Relating the exchange she had with Taniya Bhatia after a dropped catch by the wicketkeeper made her miss out on a hat-trick in the opening match vs Australia, she said, “It was the third time I had the chance to get a hat-trick.”

“I gave a bit of a reaction after she missed the catch. But after the innings, she came to me and said she felt very bad about it. I told her these things keep happening in cricket and that she should focus on holding on to the catch the next time one came at her,” she added.

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