All-rounder Deepti Sharma was one of most striking performers in India’s outstanding run at the Women’s World Cup in England. All of 19, she was among the top ones in both the batting and bowling charts, with 216 runs and 12 wickets. Her batting position was shuffled a lot in England, but her responsible knocks, as well as bowling her full quota of overs, showed that she has the potential to be a genuine all-rounder.
On being asked whether she handled the pressure of this dual reasonability, the teen was clear in her response. “I know my role in the team is, in both batting and bowling so I stuck to that,” she told reporters in Mumbai on Wednesday. “I wanted to focus and keep bowling dot balls. In batting, I wanted to work on building partnerships and rotate strike, so that’s what I did.”
For people who have followed her exploits, this wasn’t a big surprise. In May this year, she scored a record-breaking 188 against Ireland in the quadrangular series in South Africa – the second highest score in women’s One-day International history. Sharma also shared a world record 320-run opening stand with Punam Raut (109) as India amassed a commanding 358/3 in that match.
She considers herself to be more of a batting all-rounder. “I generally open the innings, but I keep myself flexible to bat at any position where my captain wants me to,” she told IANS in an interview. “It all depends on the situation of the game.”
But the youngster is also focused on improving her bowling, particularly added more variation to her off-spin, like Ravichandran Ashwin. In fact, the 19-year-old watches his videos in order to learn from his variations.
“I haven’t met him yet but am a fan of the variations he uses in Test cricket,” she said. “I tried the carrom ball at the nets but haven’t used it in a match situation as yet. It is necessary to have variations in our bowling as most of the non-Asian batswomen find it tough to handle quality spin bowling.”
Talking about the final, where India fell short by nine runs against England, she said that she had no regrets because it was a hard-fought match, the win was still. Instead, she focused on the positives, such as the rousing reception the team received in India.
“Not many people recognised us before we went to the World Cup,” she said. “But it is after our performance in the semi-final [against Australia] that people started hailing us. I feel proud to be a part of the team.”