Asian Games: Bengal gave second Jhulan Goswami to India; Titas Sadhu fell in love with cricket after athletics and football.

On Monday, September 25, the Indian women’s cricket team created history by winning gold in the Hangzhou Asian Games 2023. Bengal’s young fast bowler Titas Sadhu played an important role in this victory. Bengal’s daughter Titas showed in her second match that she is ready to take the place of her mentor and India’s legendary female cricketer Jhulan Goswami. Jhulan, who retired last year, commanded India’s pace battery for many years. She used to give initial shocks to India. Titas Sadhu did this in the final of the Asian Games.

The 5-8-inch tall Titas Sadhu dismissed Anushka Sanjivani with her very first ball in the gold medal match of women’s cricket at the Asian Games. After this he dismissed Vishmi Gunaratne in the same over. After this he took the big wicket of Chamari Atapattu in the next over. He took 3 wickets for 6 runs in 4 overs. Titas Sadhu switched from athletics and football to cricket. He developed a love for cricket while playing the role of scorer.

Attempt to inswinger like Jhulan Goswami

Ranadeep Sadhu, father to Titas Sadhu, told The Indian Express, “Like any cricketer from Bengal, Titas also idolises Jhulan Goswami and Rumeli Dhar (all-rounder and medium pacer). She often practices inswingers like Jhulan Goswami. Baz Titas was an outswinger when she started playing cricket and she improved her inswinger under me and coach Priyankar Mukherjee. She always dreamed of playing for India at the senior level and winning a gold medal for the Indian cricket team in China will motivate her. This is a big thing for the entire family as well as Indian cricket and she will cherish this moment.”

How did Titas approach cricket?

The Sadhu family of Chinsurah, 40 km north of Kolkata, owns a stadium and academy in the city. Titas Sadhu started out in track and field and later switched to football. The young player took training from his father’s athletics coach Pinaki Karmakar. He fell in love with cricket while working as a scorer at the Rajendra Smriti Sangh Stadium.

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From athletics to football and then to cricket

Titas Sadhu’s father said, “I was a state level athlete and Titas used to train under my coach. Due to his involvement in athletics at a young age, his focus became on stamina as well as strength. At the stadium, he started watching local matches with interest by managing the manual score sheet. This helped him in understanding the fielding positions as well as the match. He also played football with my father Ahindra Kumar Sadhu in the academy and this also helped him understand the demands of the team game. Once we were on vacation. I took a football and a tennis ball and after playing football I asked them to bowl with the tennis ball while aiming at the goal post from a distance. He did this task easily and that is why I decided to groom him as a fast bowler.”

Great performance in Under-19 World Cup

The Bengal fast bowler was selected among the Bengal Under-19 probables in the 2019-20 season. Titas Sadhu joined the senior Bengal team the following year under captain Rumeli Dhar. He bowled in the nets under the supervision of coach Shib Shankar Pal. Last year, Sadhu took seven wickets in five matches for the Bengal T20 Women’s team in the BCCI Senior Women’s T20 Trophy. Earlier, she was selected in the Indian Under-19 team for the ICC Under-19 Women’s World Cup this year. He took some 6 wickets in the Under-19 World Cup. She was the player of the match in the final against England by taking 2 wickets.

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Spending time under Jhulan Goswami helped

Titas Sadhu’s father further said, “I always wanted him to become a fast bowler. He never complained about the hard work that a fast bowler has to do and spending time under Jhulan Goswami early in his career helped him learn from a world-class bowler up close. We also worked on his wrist position and this helped him adjust to the pitch as well as the batsman’s approach. She understands the length from where the ball will hit the stumps. She often practices with a group of male fast bowlers and this helped her a lot before the Asian Games.”

Jhulan Di will be happy

Coach Priyankar Mukherjee is happy that Titas is showing signs of filling Jhulan’s shoes. He said, “The performance in the final will help him cement his place in the Indian senior team.” “His Jhulan Di (Goswami) will also be happy to see him making a place in the senior team.”

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