Deepti Sharma
Deepti Sharma

The harbinger of India’s all-round potential and a future leader in the making, Deepti Sharma has it all!

The onus was on the current national selector; Hemalatha Kala who once identified Deepti’s potential to become one of the foremost players in the current Indian Set-up. With limited chances of playing matches ahead of 2017, Deepti stepped into a team that certainly changed the fortunes of the Women’s Cricket forever.

How did the entire episode evolve?

She was spotted in the cricket field during a men’s match where her brother, a state cricket player took part. She returned the ball from the boundary line and it directly crashed the stumps at one end, which grabbed the attention of then-coach Kala.

She found a brilliant potential in Deepti Sharma who is made for the international arena.

To be a sharp fielder, a mature batter or even a prime spin whizz, Deepti executes these roles with phenomenal ease.

What are the factors of Deepti Sharma that make her a stand-out performer?

In an age where players mostly desire being specialists, Deepti Sharma is agile in the team’s order, quite like her fielding.

It ought to be said, Deepti Sharma is a talent that can be readjusted in any batting position of the line-up.

During the WBBL-02, Smriti Mandhana suffered a nasty knee injury that kept her out of the field for a few months. She filled the gap with Punam Raut and handled the absence of a prolific batter to a great extent. Both of whom went on to create a world record partnership of 320 runs (Highest in international cricket and the 1st pair to cross the 300-mark).

Deepti Sharma
Deepti Sharma. ©Getty Images

After the entry of Smriti Mandhana during the ICC World Cup-2017, Deepti was adjusted at Number-3, 6 or even as low as Number-9 where she had the ability to reach a strike rate of 250. Down the order, Deepti is the answer to the middle order collapse that the Indian team can depend on. The team also needs a defensive approach when the top-4 batters are removed in quick succession.

Rotation of strike, quick while running between the wickets, Deepti Sharma is the new age batter who is multi-faceted.

She amazed 2176-runs across all the formats while averaging 41.81 in the ODI format, with a top score of 188. With a limited possibility to bat in the shortest format, Sharma is yet to notch her maiden Fifty/Hundred.

The 21-year-old star cricketer has her own set of hurdles that she has to cross or improve. Deepti loses her natural instinct of playing across the line when the bowler bowls full-toss and slow deliveries. She often misjudges the ball and it crashes on to the wickets. Playing straight and in the front-foot to an extent will save her from getting out.

India will look to encash her other talents in the form of a fielder who with her fast throws strike the stumps accurately.

Moreover, who can forget the run-out of Beth Mooney in the 2017 World Cup?

Mooney was dismissed by a lightning-fast throw from Deepti in the league stage match. Some of her quick reflexes from the silly point or at the Gully have saved valuable runs as well as she took some of the toughest catches.

She was made to shift from fast bowling to spin bowling owing to her ability that supports spin better as the release of the ball didn’t trouble batters that well. After shifting to spin, her shortish wide and incoming deliveries have troubled the best players around the world.

This was the same delivery that removed Wyatt in the semi-final clash in the World T20 last year.

Deepti Sharma celebrates after catching Australia’s Nicole Bolton in the ICC Women’s World Cup semifinal. Picture Source: Getty Images

Deepti Sharma often seems to be expensive in T20’s, but her ability to provide crucial breakthroughs and her lightning quick fielding over-shadows this shortcoming. She is captain’s go-to bowler alongside Poonam Yadav.

Her economy rate in ODI dips below 4, while she has an economy rate of over 6 in T20I. She picked up 84 wickets in her remarkable career spanning over four years.

With her position in the playing-XI restricted to the middle order as of now, Deepti Sharma needs to fine-tune her batting to turn the finisher of the game, an area where India are lacking too.

The young cricketer has a long way to go who not only has the skill but even the executions made her a go-to player across all the formats.

‘Her consistency will bring in more balance to the team’ – is a strong statement that the players like her has more to offer in the coming years.


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