When Renuka Thakur blew away Australia
Swing bowler Renuka Thakur proved to be the find of the Commonwealth Games women’s cricket competition for India.
Jhulan Goswami retired from T20 International cricket a long time ago, and since then, India has been on the lookout for pacers who can bring them success in the format.
The team has tried the likes of Mansi Joshi and Shikha Pandey but hasn’t found a lot of success.
Right before the 2022 ODI World Cup, the team India laid their hands on Himachal Pradesh pacer Renuka Thakur, and she has been in the mix since then.
The medium-pace bowler has started to come into her own now. Things started to go in her favour from the tour of Sri Lanka onwards right before the Commonwealth Games, where she took a couple of four-wicket hauls.
Thakur continued her good work in the showpiece event and finished as the highest wicket-taker in the competition with 11 wickets from 5 games at an average of just 9.45.
Gaining opponent’s respect
She started off her campaign with a four-wicket haul against Australia, which had the world champions in trouble. Even Australian batter Grace Harris was full of praise for the Indian pacer.
“India are a great team. They’ve always been challenging. Renuka Thakur was moving it off the wicket and in the air. She bowled well, and you’ve got to give credit where credit’s due. I’m happy for the top order to face the swinging ball. I’ll take any opportunity I get to bat at the moment, because at No. 7, I don’t often get to spend that amount of time in the middle. I’m disappointed with how I got out – it was probably the one shot all game that I didn’t make the best contact.”
It was a dream spell from Renuka Thakur in the opening match of the Commonwealth Games as she took four wickets while giving away just 18 runs from her 4 overs.
Alyssa Healy was the first to depart and was caught by Deepti Sharma at slips in an attempt to guide the ball to the third man. Meg Lanning was the next to depart on the first ball of Renuka’s second over. She was caught by Radha Yadav at point.
With the wickets of Beth Mooney, who played it onto the stumps and Tahlia McGrath, who lost her leg stump, Renuka Thakur ensured that India was in the ascendency in the match.
Unfortunately for them, things did not go in their favour as the game moved forward, and the team suffered a three-wicket defeat.