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Asian Games

Trailblazers of Tomorrow: Youthful vanguard leads India to Asian Games glory

In a resounding testament to the changing tides of Indian women’s cricket, a youthful squad won the gold medal at the Asian Games.

Trailblazers of Tomorrow: Youthful vanguard leads India to Asian Games glory

Syed Tawsif Ahmed

Updated: 25 Sep 2023 6:17 PM GMT

The women in blue have made history. They have struck gold. In Indian cricket’s first participation in the Asian Games, the women have created history by becoming the first side from the country to win the gold medal in cricket at the quadrennial showpiece.

After a heartbreak at the Commonwealth Games last year and the semifinal exit in the T20 World Cup earlier this year; India’s women cricketers have finally gone all the way and basked in the glory.

This victory is not just a triumph of skill and temperament, but a triumph of a new vision. The infusion of young blood, with their audacity and prowess, has come as a breath of fresh air into the Indian squad, propelling them towards a vibrant and promising future.

Titas Sadhu - The pace prodigy

At the forefront of this revolution is Titas Sadhu, a pace prodigy, whose cricketing acumen belies her age. Unarguably, the star of the show in the final, Titas picked up three wickets in her opening spell against Sri Lanka including the scalp of their captain, Chamari Athapaththu, for just two runs. She finished with figures of 3 wickets for just 6 runs in her four overs and won the Player of the Match award.

However, this is not Titas’ first international trophy of the year. She also won the U19 T20 World Cup earlier this year. To add to it, her moment of reckoning in this tournament came in the final too, against England, where she set the tone with two early wickets and ended with figures of 2 for 6 in her four overs- winning the Player of the Match.

After an unexpected call-up to the squad in the Asian Games, Titas held her nerves. She bowled exceptionally well on her senior debut in the semifinal against Bangladesh and in the final against Sri Lanka. Handpicked by legendary Jhulan Goswami, she has learned from the very best.

In an exclusive interview with The Bridge, Titas said, “I remember the first thing she told me- it doesn’t matter whatever you do. You just bowl fast.”

If there is something more lethal than her inswingers in the powerplay, it has to be her mentality.

On September 24, 2022, Goswami played her last match for India; a year later, Titas made her senior debut, perfectly filling the big shoe of her predecessor.

Shining the brightest in the occasions, Titas embodies the epitome of what the new generation stands for - resilience, adaptability, and an unyielding spirit.

Jemimah factor

In the heart of this team lies Jemimah Rodrigues, who has been in the Indian setup for quite some time now. At just 23, she has produced several match-winning knocks for India, including the one against Pakistan at the T20 World Cup earlier this year. After a great inaugural season of the WPL and helping her side, the Delhi Capitals, reach the final of the tournament, she came into the Asian Games with a lot of expectations.

She has risen to all the expectations and has been the star of the Indian batting in the Asian Games. Rodrigues scored 47 off 29 not out in the quarterfinal, 20 off 15 in the semifinal, and 42 off 40 in the final.

In some challenging conditions, she held anchor when needed and played according to the situation helping her team score those valuable runs. Ever energetic, on and off the field; she is one personality, who the entire dressing room looks up to and the country takes inspiration from.

For a team like India who has faltered in the past in knockouts and big-ticket tournaments; it is a privilege to have assets like Jemimah and Titas, who stand up at the crucial stages and can win a match on their own.

This victory is just the beginning. The young players have made a powerful statement - they are here to stay. Their success has ignited a fire within, motivating not just themselves but the entire team.

It is a testament to the bright future of Indian women's cricket. The young players have arrived, and they are not only here to stay but to redefine the very essence of the sport.

Their audacious approach, unwavering determination, and remarkable talent are set to shape the destiny of Indian cricket. That they won the historic Asian Games gold in Hangzhou will inspire future generations. The future of Indian women's cricket is in safe hands and the journey has indeed just begun.

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