Titas Sadhu’s Unexpected Call-Up to India Women’s Team for Asian Games
Titas Sadhu, an 18-year-old cricket sensation, experienced an unexpected turn of events when she received her first call-up to the senior India women’s cricket team for the Asian Games. In her own words, the moment was “anti-climatic,” as she had no prior knowledge that the Asian Games squad was going to be announced that day. On July 14, as she was getting ready to go to bed, a text message from a friend changed the course of her night and her career.
The text simply read, “Congratulations.” Bewildered, Titas responded with gratitude but asked, “Congratulations for what?” It was her friend who sent her a screenshot of the team list, revealing that she had made the cut. Titas was left awestruck by the news and immediately shared it with her parents before finally being able to process the life-changing moment.
Titas’s journey to this point had been nothing short of remarkable. In 2023, she gained widespread recognition when she played a pivotal role in India’s victory in the U19 Women’s T20 World Cup final against England. Her incredible performance earned her the title of Player of the Match for her impressive spell of 2-6 in four overs. Throughout the World Cup, Titas displayed exceptional skills in moving the ball and bowling accurately, coupled with an impressive economy rate of 4.27.
Her stellar performance in the U19 World Cup led to her inclusion in the Delhi Capitals team for the inaugural Women’s Premier League. Although she didn’t get a chance to play, her team finished as runners-up, showcasing her potential. Titas continued to make waves when she played a crucial role with the new ball in India A’s successful Women’s T20 Emerging Teams Asia Cup campaign in Hong Kong.
Reflecting on her journey, Titas recognizes the profound impact it has had on her both as an individual and a cricketer. She speaks of the invaluable experiences and exposure to different cultures that have enriched her life and enhanced her cricketing skills.
One of the standout experiences for Titas was sharing the dressing room with cricket stalwarts like Australia’s Meg Lanning and South Africa’s Marizanne Kapp during her time with Delhi Capitals in the Women’s Premier League. She was particularly impressed by their calm demeanor during high-pressure matches.
Nooshin Al Khadeer, Titas’s coach during India’s victorious campaigns in the U19 World Cup and Emerging Asia Cup, acknowledges the significant growth she has witnessed in Titas. She believes that Titas has the potential to be a dependable asset in the senior team, not only for her bowling prowess but also for her sensible batting in the lower order.
Titas’s journey to cricket began in Chinsurah, a town north of Kolkata. In her younger years, she was involved in sprinting and swimming, the latter being a skill she acquired due to the local culture’s emphasis on water safety. Although her cricket journey involved more running than her previous sports endeavors, she credits her early exposure to sports with instilling the necessary discipline required for her cricketing career.
Her transition to cricket was a gradual one, marked by moments of collective decision-making with her parents. They decided to give cricket a two-year commitment without any restrictions, and Titas’s passion for the sport grew steadily.
Titas’s initiation into senior domestic cricket with the Bengal team presented its challenges. She played just two matches in her debut season and was left out of the eleven for the rest of the season. However, she had the guidance of fast-bowling legend Jhulan Goswami, who served as the team mentor and offered invaluable support and advice for her development.
Titas also acknowledges the significant role played by former India pace all-rounder Rumeli Dhar during her early domestic career. Dhar’s encouragement and coaching helped Titas refine her skills and provided her with the confidence to excel in the sport.
Titas’s parents, especially her father Ranadeep Sadhu, who serves as her primary coach, have been unwavering in their support. Their emphasis on excellence in whatever she pursued, whether in academics or sports, motivated Titas to strive for the best.
Titas’s cricketing journey has been a continuous learning process, characterized by feedback and introspection. She values the feedback from her father, even when it’s tough to digest, as it contributes to her growth as a player.
As she continues her cricketing journey, Titas draws inspiration from all-rounders like Hardik Pandya and the performances of IPL sensation Shubman Gill. She is particularly keen on improving her batting skills in the lower order, recognizing its importance in modern cricket.
Titas expresses her gratitude to WhiteLeaf Talent Management for their support in managing her schedule and facilitating her career. She finds the greatest joy in fast-bowling when the ball pitches on the off-stump, moves off the seam, edges, and is taken at first slip.
As Titas prepares to represent India in the Asian Games, her skills, maturity, and diverse experiences make her a formidable asset to the team’s pursuit of a gold medal. Her journey from a surprise call-up to the Indian cricket team to becoming a rising star is a testament to her dedication and passion for the game.