Radha Yadav, fielder extraordinaire
Radha Yadav is among the best fielders in the Indian women’s cricket team.
Right up there
If you count the top five fielders in the Indian women’s cricket team, Radha Yadav certainly is up there, along with Jemimah Rodrigues, Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur and Harleen Deol.
Radha Yadav has been struggling for form with the ball of late as the left-arm spinner has been very expensive in recent times. However, she has some ability with the bat as well and is capable of adding a few runs lower down the order.
More importantly, she is a brilliant fielder and saves 5 to 10 runs in the field every match. The way she fielded in the 2022 Commonwealth Games was one of the big reasons that Harmanpreet preferred her ahead of Rajeshwari Gayakwad in the playing XI.
Harmanpreet was full of praise for Radha Yadav’s fielding effort after the final despite India losing out on the gold medal by a narrow margin of 9 runs and emphasized on how that rubbed on to the entire team.
“After losing two crucial wickets, the way Jemi and I batted was much needed at that time. You need to hold your nerves. We were nearly there. Maybe if Pooja [Vastrakar] or I were around, we could’ve won the game. But that is part of the game; sometimes some things you can’t control. It is great learning for us. If you want to beat this Australian team, you have to field well. If you give them easy runs, they can easily take the game away. We discussed it in the team meeting and Radha set the example for us,” Harman said after the final.
The catch that Radha Yadav took to dismiss Tahlia McGrath at point was perhaps the best catch of the entire tournament. It also helped India to claw back into the match in the middle overs after a brilliant partnership between Beth Mooney and Meg Lanning.
Additionally, the way Radha dismissed Lanning off her own bowling, running her out at the non-striker’s end with the help of a cheeky nutmeg, could have also easily been the match-defining moment had the Indians succeeded in holding on to their nerves in the dying moments of the final.