The Meteoric Rise of India’s Wicket-keeper Batter Indrani Roy
“Learning from Mahi Sir is a privilege. Every time I hit the ground, I try to remember his tips,” Roy said.
Karnataka didn’t know what hit them in the quarter-final of the Senior Women’s ODI Trophy 2021 against Jharkhand. Indrani Roy strutted out to open the innings and wasted little time in giving an inkling of her mood. Akansha Kohli’s loosener was picked up from wide of off-stump and launched over mid-wicket’s head. There was no respite in store for the medium-pacer as Roy leant forward gracefully to carve an exquisite cover drive before rocking on the backfoot to beat backward point with a rasping square cut. Before Karnataka could come to terms with the leather hunt, Roy had not only raised her bat to an electric 53-ball fifty but also laid the foundation for a massive first-innings total.
It is on the back of such blistering displays of batting that Roy finished as the leading run-scorer of the tournament, with her 456 runs – comprising two centuries and a fifty – at an emphatic average of 76 being the only tally in excess of 400 this year. Her numbers commanded a level upgrade and the selectors were quick to reciprocate. The wicketkeeper-batter has earned her maiden national call-up for the England tour, which kicks off on 16 June with a one-off Test in Bristol followed by three ODIs and T20Is apiece.
Born and brought up in Liluah in the Howrah district of West Bengal, Roy shifted base to Jharkhand a few years ago and has cemented her spot in the state team. No prizes for guessing that the legendary MS Dhoni is her role model and she has been in constant communication with the master of the trade to fine-tune her glovework.
“During a training session in Ranchi sometime last year, I had a long conversation with Mahi Sir about how to improve my game and he had told me that I should ensure that I improve my reflexes and movement in the five-metre radius. For wicketkeepers, that’s a key thing and he advised me that I should try and get better. That actually helped me,” the 23-year-old told Sportstar.
“Learning a thing or two from a legend like Mahi Sir is a privilege and his advice actually helped me improve my game. Every time I hit the ground, I try to remember his tips,” the youngster said.
While Taniya Bhatia is likely to don the mitts in the solitary Test, Roy could be in line for a debut in the limited-overs leg. She is optimistic of turning up well if and when the opportunity comes knocking. “Hard work has paid off. I am looking forward to sharing the dressing room with the senior players and learn from them. This will be my first outing with the national team and if I get a chance in the final XI, I will try and do my best,” Roy remarked.
With the international assignment around the corner, procuring a passport is high on the agenda for Roy as she doesn’t own one at the moment. Although what does count among her possessions is a treasure trove of talent, which if translated into performances at the big stage can serve Indian cricket for a long, long time.
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