Olympics Begin In
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.

Women's Cricket

Titas Sadhu: India's teenage pace sensation from Bengal

Titas Sadhu made her senior debut at the Asian Games and returned with a figure of 1 for 10 in four overs against Bangladesh. She followed that with a sensational 3 for 6 against Sri Lanka in the Asiad gold medal match.

Titas Sadhu: Indias teenage pace sensation from Bengal

Titas Sadhu now has two match-winning performances in two major finals this year. (BCCI)


Krithika Venkatesan

Updated: 26 Sep 2023 6:19 AM GMT

In September 2022, Jhulan Goswami retired from international cricket. The void she left in the Indian set-up is certainly huge, and it was assumed that it would be difficult for the Indian women's cricket team to fill the big shoe anytime soon.

That being said, Goswami has managed to inspire yet another youngster from West Bengal, Titas Sadhu, to chip in. Sadhu could possibly be India's new ball spearhead in years to come. Incidentally, Sadhu received her first-ever Player of the Match award from Jhulan Goswami.

"I remember it was weird talking to her in the beginning. She is a legend. You'll be standing beside her asking for tips. I didn't even know what to ask her. I remember the first thing she told me was, that it doesn't matter how you bowl, you just bowl fast. She is now Jhulan di first and a legend later," Sadhu says.

Sadhu had been one of the fastest bowlers in the Indian U19 setup. In January 2023, she played a major role in helping India win the U19 World Cup. She was the player of the match in the final for returning with a figure of 2 for 6 in her four overs against England.

Mirroring that performance on her senior debut in the Asian Games, Sadhu took one wicket for 10 runs in four overs against Bangladesh. In the gold medal match on Monday, she rattled Sri Lanka with 3 for 6 in four overs.

"We knew that we were going to win (at the U19 World Cup), and it was just a matter of a few balls. The worst part was that I was told to go upstairs and pad up. And India won. I came running, and everyone was shouting. They were running into the ground, and I was late. But there was a beautiful moment where Shafali gave her medal to Nooshin [Al Khadeer] ma'am, and it was really amazing," Sadhu says.

After an excellent performance in the U19 World Cup, Sadhu was picked by Delhi Capitals in the first-ever Women's Premier League. Talking about the experience, the 18-year-old says it was amazing but hectic because of shooting for commercials.

"WPL was a great experience because you get to meet top players from across the world. I have said somewhere that I wanted to bowl to Meg Lanning, and she was my captain here. Also, there's no lie that it was hectic because there were a lot of shoots, parties and dinners, which we don't normally do. It was fun since we didn't travel and stayed together for a month. We got to know each other and talked about our own cultures. It was good fun, and we played good cricket," adds Sadhu.

Fast bowler, swimmer, sprinter, bright student - a true all-rounder

Hailing from Hooghly district, Sadhu traded between sprinting and swimming before turning to cricket.

"Where I stay, sports is a culture. If a kid is four years old, it is natural for them to go to the local swimming club. My dad was an athlete. So naturally I went into that, but I didn't like it very much and wasn't good either," admits Sadhu.

When she was around 12, she used to go to the family-owned cricket academy and help them out. When she turned 13, she became serious about cricket.

"The academy team used to play matches, and I used to go there and score for them. I was literally the 12th person in the team. Then I started playing, mostly because my friends were playing, and it was mostly for fun. Things started from there," she says.

When cricket resumed after the Covid-19 pandemic, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) organised various local tournaments to pick the squad for the senior as well as age-group state teams. In the final of the first-ever Bengal T20 League for Women, Sadhu excelled by piercing through the Mohammedan Sporting Club. She returned with a figure of two wickets for seven runs. This performance helped her to get into the Bengal U19 team and later into the senior state team.

She was getting ready for her annual exam when the selection happened, and she had to make a difficult decision between academics and cricket.

"I remember breaking down crying as I had to miss my 11th standard final. It felt like abandoning my studies. But it also gets difficult. Cricket or any sport needs more hours, and studies aren't easy either. So, to manage both, it's been difficult," reveals Sadhu.

In both tournaments, Sadhu was impressive with her opening spell and troubled the batters. One of her stand-out performances came against Haryana. Shafali Verma smashed an unbeaten 75 off 46 while chasing 138 against Bengal. But she struggled against Sadhu, who ended with 2 for 8 from her stipulated four overs.

Sadhu went on to play in the U19 Challenger Trophy and was part of India's U19 set-up that faced the New Zealand Development squad, West Indies and Sri Lanka in Mumbai.

"I made my senior domestic debut in 2021, and from then on, there was no stopping," she says.

Want to bowl my heart out: Sadhu

For Titas Sadhu, apart from making her India debut, the Asian Games has also been a good place to meet all the other athletes.

"I just wanted to meet all the athletes because the Asian Games is a place where you get to meet different players from different sports. Also, I just want to play, enjoy and bowl my heart out whenever I get a chance," she asserts.

It is too early to predict if Titas Sadhu is the next Jhulan Goswami for India, but after what we have witnessed in the Asian Games final, she has certainly made her mark in the international circuit and is here to stay.

Next Story