ICC Women’s World Cup: Kishore Kumar fan Mansi Joshi on song for confident India
India pacer Mansi Joshi made a wonderful start in the ICC Women’s World Cup as her economical bowling played a big part in India maintaining their perfect ODI record against Pakistan.cricket Updated: Jul 04, 2017 19:03 IST
A few days before she left for England, Indian pacer Mansi Joshi queued up outside a cinema in Dehradun to watch a movie she had been eagerly waiting for. After all, “Sachin: Billion Dreams” was based on her favourite cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar, and she couldn’t miss it, especially coming ahead of the Women’s World Cup.
Inspired by the flick, Mansi wanted to make India proud like Tendulkar had. On Sunday, the 23-year-old got a chance to play in her first World Cup game, that too against Pakistan, and the lanky quick grabbed the chance with a fine spell of 6.1 overs conceding just nine runs, bowling two maidens and bagging two wickets.
Chasing her dream
To further her cricket dreams Mansi had to shift base to Haryana in 2010 as Uttarakhand didn’t have a women’s cricket team. And she delivered at the biggest stage in the game in Derby, removing Asmavia Iqbal for nought and yorked Pakistan captain Sana Mir to help clinch a 95-run win.
“Mansi was spot on against Pakistan. She bowled the out-swingers, off-cutters and also the yorkers. She is a tremendous bowler who likes to bowl aggressively, at good pace. With Jhulan (Goswami) and Shikha Pandey in the team, it becomes a bit difficult for Mansi to get a look in. But given the chance, she made full use of it. I hope she is retained in the upcoming matches too,” said Mansi’s coach, Virender Singh Rautela.
Mansi had been included in the playing XI in place of Shikha Pandey. India, having won their first three matches, take on Sri Lanka in Derby on Wednesday.
Stepping up pace
Rautela has played a big part in guiding Mansi. Although she plays for Haryana, when in her hometown, she trains under Rautela at Dehradun’s St Joseph’s Cricket Academy. Until a few years back, she hardly batted, but Rautela worked on her strengthening and helped improve her batting. This has helped Mansi crank up her pace, and also become an opener for Haryana.
“She always had an impressive build, but needed to build muscles and add pace. She would train for hours every day and take a lot of protein (mutton, dates, milk, boiled eggs, chicken soup etc.). The results were amazing,” said Rautela.
After her stellar performances for Haryana and North Zone, Mansi made her T20 debut for India in Bangkok against Bangladesh in the 2016 Asia Cup. Injuries to Jhulan and Sukanya Parida saw her included in the ODI team for the World Cup qualifiers in Sri Lanka, which India won. Her best was a three-wicket haul against Thailand.
A Kishore Kumar fan
“She really took off from the World Cup qualifiers. She was seen as someone with a bright future for India. She became big in Dehradun and girls have started playing cricket seeing Mansi don the India colours,” said Rautela.
She is a fan of Kishore Kumar and Tendulkar, and seeks inspiration from both. When not playing, Mansi relaxes by listening to Kishore numbers, mostly from Rajesh Khanna movies. “Aate Jaate Khoobsurat Awaara galliyon main, kabhi kabhi ittefaq se…” from the Rajesh Khanna-starrer ‘Anurodh’ is her mobile tune.
“She was initially nervous against Pakistan. But she was very excited after India won. She is pumped up and if promoted up the order she can chip in with quick runs too,” added her coach.
Mansi is only six ODIs and one T20 game old, but her spirited performances should add to India’s strong showing.