Renuka Singh’s impressive start

When Renuka Singh made her International debut against Australia in Australia, she did not look like a greenhorn.

It was to her advantage that Renuka had toured Australia on an India A trip in 2019 and had a feel of the conditions. This is why she was aware of the pace and bounce of the Australian pitches and adjusted her length accordingly.

She made the ball talk in the T20I series and formed a good combination with Shikha Pandey who also impressed with prodigious swing.

Singh is a product of the HPCA women’s residential Academy in Dharamshala which was founded by former BCCI President Anurag Singh Thakur. Renuka began her training under HPCA coach Pawan Sen and strength and conditioning coach Veena Pandey.

She then rose through the ranks playing under 16 and under 19 cricket for Himachal. The young pace bowler was then selected for the senior Himachal team and finished as the highest wicket taker in the women’s one day tournament in 2019 with 23 scalps.

The next step was to be picked for India and the Himachal Pradesh pacer was delighted when the maiden call-up finally came.

“It’s an emotional day for me and I cannot describe the feeling of being selected. My father loved cricket like anything and had named my elder brother Vinod after his favourite cricketer Vinod Kambli. While I was too young when my father died, maybe it was his passion and guidance which saw me playing cricket at our village. I am sure he will be cheering from the heavens when I board the flight to Australia and get a chance to don the Indian jersey,” Renuka said after being picked in the Indian squad.

“While I could only play in one match during the India A tour to Australia in 2019, bowling in the nets as well as practice pitches there too made me understand the conditions. The pitches in Australia offer bounce and good movement and hopefully I can utilise it when given a chance.”

While her new-ball bowling skills are right on the money, there is certainly a lot of room for improvement in her variations in the slog overs. The word from the camp is that Renuka is working hard on her death bowling skills.

Although she was not able to execute the yorkers and slower deliveries in the middle in the penultimate over of the 2nd T20I which cost India the match, it is only early days for the pace bowler and she is set to have a bright future.

Saksham Mishra

Justifying hours of watching sports by scribbling down a few logical lines that might just about hold your interest. Was not talented enough to make it as a professional cricketer, so the next best logical option was to enroll in a Mass Communication course, and write about sports instead. Because, what else is there to write about in this world, right?
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