Women’s World Cup 2022: Rajeshwari Gayakwad, the Bijapur girl looking to create a storm in another global event


5 years again, in the ultimate league sport of the 2017 Women’s ODI World Cup, India took on New Zealand with Rajeshwari Gayakwad making her first look of the event in that fit. She changed Ekta Bisht in the XI and right away made an affect, choosing up a maiden five-wicket haul to assist India thump the White Ferns through a whopping 186 runs.

She went on to characteristic in the semi-final win towards Australia and in the last towards England with India fielding a sturdy spin assault. 5 years since, now not a lot has modified regardless of Gayakwad’s spectacular ODI file. India’s spin assault is so sturdy that Gayakwad is not assured a position in the last XI, particularly with spin bowling all-rounders to be had in Deepti Sharma and Sneh Rana.

That is not to discredit Gayakwad’s remarkable ODI profession up to now. In 51 fits, the left-arm spinner has taken 81 wickets at a surprising moderate of nineteen.54 with 5 hauls of 4 wickets or extra. That moderate is the fourth-best for any spinner in girls’s ODI cricket (minimal of fifty innings bowled) in the twenty first century.

Report symbol of India left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad. AFP

What is modified for Gayakwad is that she is now not 2d in line to leg-spinner Poonam Yadav however at par along with her with India even most probably to box Gayakwad over Poonam in the 2022 Women’s ODI World Cup. The four-wicket haul in the warm-up sport towards South Africa most effective bolstered Gayakwad’s claims.

Prior to the event, Gayakwad, taking part in for India D, was once additionally the third-highest wicket-taker in the Senior Women’s One Day Challenger Trophy with seven wickets at a mean of 16.14. India D reached the last of the event the place they misplaced to the India A facet, however Gayakwad inspired once more in the giant sport, taking 4/36 to derail the opposition in the center overs.

The 30-year previous left-arm spinner had humble beginnings in the game after taking to it professionally at the age of 16. She enrolled in the Bijapur Girls’s Cricket Membership together with her sister, Rameshwari Gayakwad, after her father, who was once an ardent lover of the sport, got here to know that the membership was once undertaking a loose coaching camp for ladies.

A quick bowler in her preliminary years, Gayakwad converted to spin at the insistence of her trainer after he felt that she didn’t have the energy and peak to be a rapid bowler. It became out to be a impressive trade. She was once quickly in the Karnataka girls’s workforce and evolved her sport hastily, incomes an ODI debut towards Sri Lanka in January 2014.

A wicket-to-wicket spinner who idolises Ravindra Jadeja, Gayakwad’s exhausting paintings has noticed her stand up the ranks in India’s spin division. Her second of glory in 2017 — the five-wicket haul towards New Zealand in the World Cup — noticed the Karnataka executive be offering her a automobile price INR 5 lakh. She with politeness declined it, as an alternative soliciting for a safe haven for her circle of relatives having lived in a rented condo till then.

Ranked fifteenth in the ICC ODI bowling ratings heading into the World Cup, Gayakwad has had a very good few months since the pandemic spoil. Since 2021, she has 14 ODI wickets in 11 fits, the third-most through an Indian bowler, at a mean of 29.78. At the similar time, in T20Is, she tops the wickets chart with 10 wickets at 15.40. She has additionally long gone up to thirteenth in the ICC T20I bowling ratings.

Gayakwad will nonetheless most probably tussle it out with Yadav for a position in India’s last XI. An outstanding file outdoor house — 44 wickets in 26 ODIs at a mean of 21 — will have to assist Gayakwad’s case. However even supposing she does not get started, the spinner from Bijapur will know that are supposed to the alternative come, she’ll be greater than able for it.

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