Happy to be number two in the world, but he won't be pleased: Radha Yadav

When the ICC (International Cricket Council) published its latest rankings for women cricket players, it was time for double celebrations for Radha Yadav. The 19-year-old Allrounder Team Baroda, who was the second best wicket player (seven wickets) for Team India when he defeated the West Indies 5-0 in a T20I series recently, is currently the world's number two bowler in T20 format. . The trip has been nothing more than a fairy tale for Radha, who, by her own admission, had never seen a cricket game on television until the 2011 World Cup, and didn't even know that female cricket existed in the India.

Coming from a modest financial background (the Yadavs live in a 225-square-foot house in Kandivali, and their father runs a small shop), Radha loved to play cricket with the children and his life changed when Prafull Naik, an experienced coach , saw his talent. . Shortly after she started playing professionally, Radha was chosen on the Mumbai team, but when Naik changed her base to Vadodara, Radha also decided to move to the city. The loss of Mumbai has been the gain of Vadodara, since Radha led the Baroda Team and delivered some outstanding results. And since he made his debut for India in the international T20 matches in February 2018, there has been no retrospective. Excerpts from a chat:

What does it feel like to be number two in the world? And how was the trip in international cricket?

The news was sent to the messaging group of our team, and I felt very happy. But, honestly, I was more satisfied with the fact that I played well against the West Indies, and we were able to beat them so convincingly in their own backyard. Narendra Hirwani (former Indian cricket player), who has been training spinners, is also given a lot of credit. The trip with the Indian team has been truly memorable. This team has some amazing cricket players, and we really enjoyed each other's success. That is why we are doing so well. Our coach, WV Raman sir, is a very relaxed person and has ensured that we play freely and enjoy the game. Many people may be surprised when I say this, but in reality I have felt less pressure on international cricket compared to national games. In national matches, the responsibility always rests with one or two players for the team and, although I enjoy that responsibility, I can play more freely for India because the team has so many game winners now. I have also made some amazing friends on the team.

There is a tough competition for places in the Indian team now. How do you look at it?

We have some amazing cricket players now, who are always ready to deliver in crunch situations, and that's great for Indian cricket. I'm enjoying my game right now, mujhe jyaada sochna nahi hai baaki cheezon ke baare mein. I would also love to play for India in ODI one day, but I want to live in the present. I've learned a lot by sharing the costumes with Harmanpreet Kaur, who is my idol. The way he leads from the front, and the way he dominates bowlers while batting, is inspiring. At this time, our collective dream is to make India the T20 world champion next year. I hope we can make it happen. Now, there is also much emphasis on physical fitness in women's cricket. Two hours of gymnastics and running daily help me stay fit.

Financially, should your family be in a better space now? Since you had your share of struggles while growing up, did that make you harder mentally?

Haan, abhi kaafi Better hai, and things are tidier now. In addition to the previous makeshift post selling vegetables and other things, now my father has another grocery store (for rent). Lekin aaj tak unhone mujhse paise nahi liye (smiles) I am indebted to my parents for all the sacrifices they have made, and they never prevented me from playing. My mother stays with me in Vadodara now. Now that I have started earning a decent amount, we are planning to save money and make investments for the future. But my mental hardness has nothing to do with our financial situation, since I have never let anything affect my cricket. For me, cricket is life and when you love something so much, hardness apne aap aa jaati hai . Even today, if I have any doubts, I only call Prafull sir and he is always there to guide me.

Do you recognize more fans now?

When I play for India, there are fans requesting selfies and autographs. But otherwise, not many recognize me yet. Hopefully, that will change soon (he smiles). But in general, things are much better for women who practice cricket now. Televising the games has helped popularize women's cricket.

In retrospect, changing from Mumbai to Vadodara was a difficult decision, considering that representing Mumbai is a big problem in Indian cricket?

When I made that decision, main tab jyaada kuch samajhti nahi thi . I just wanted to play cricket and since my favorite coach was switching to Vadodara, I also did the same. And I'm happy to have followed my heart. Now, when I look back, I realize that it was a great decision. But it worked well for me.