File photo of Yastika Bhatia© AFP
India’s women’s team batter Yastika Bhatia has named star batter Smriti Mandhana as her favourite player. The 23-year-old received her maiden call for the India team in September 2021 She talked about watching Adam Gilchrist and how Smriti became her favourite. “Initially, I didn’t follow anyone. I just wanted to enjoy batting. Then gradually, I also started focussing on wicketkeeping. I used to watch Adam Gilchrist. He was Australia’s wicketkeeper-batsman. Then once Smriti di made her debut, she became my favourite immediately,” Yastika said. The young batter expressed her excitement to don the Mumbai Indians jersey ahead of Women’s Premier League Season 2. In her debut season for the Mumbai Indians, Yastika played 10 matches and amassed 214 runs at a strike rate of 112.04.
Ahead of the new season, the 23-year-old batter expressed her desire to wear the blue shades of MI once again while speaking on JioCinema.
“It was memorable. Nobody had an idea about how things would pan out. But the way we were welcomed into the team, we were made to feel like family. We would spend a lot of time talking about how we could improve our game. I am really looking forward to the forthcoming edition of the WPL. I can’t wait to wear the Mumbai Indians jersey and go back to the ground. It’s a completely different feeling being part of MI,” Yastika said.
Before making her debut in Mackay against Australia, Yastika’s childhood didn’t revolve around cricket only. She used to play different sports in her childhood.
“I liked playing sports since childhood. I would go for swimming, karate and badminton. But I never thought cricket would become my career because academics were as important growing up. One of my neighbours used to play Ranji Trophy. He told my father about a girl’s team practicing at a ground close to our home. My sister and I went there. However, I was too small then so they admitted my sister while I had to wait for two years. While I waited for my chance, I dreamt of going to the ground and playing with my sister,” Yastika added.
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