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‘I Have Huge Respect for MS Dhoni as a Captain, Leader, Finisher and as a Keeper’: Taniya Bhatia

India’s wicket-keeper batter Taniya Bhatia, who is often known as ‘Lady MS Dhoni’, said that she takes pride on the title. She also shared that she wants to imitate former India captain’s stunning gloves-work and game style in her game too.

Her agility behind the stumps often compared to as MS Dhoni’s – who has announced his retirement from international cricket on Saturday (August 15). However, she always looked up to him as well.

“Although I have no as such particular memories with him…I have huge respect for him as a captain, leader, finisher and as a keeper who is extremely quick behind the stumps,” Taniya Bhatia was quoted as saying by Times of India.

“It feels great when people often refer (to) me as the Lady MS and I will cherish the title forever. There is no point of comparison because I have always looked up to him. I am a huge fan of his hand-eye coordination. But I think it feels great. I mean, it motivates to work me harder,” she added.

The 22-year-old Chandigarh girl Taniya Bhatia has recalled her interaction with Dhoni – her idol. Since her debut for India, she has played 65 international matches across formats, including two T20 World Cups – 2018 and 2020. Bhatia has taken 37 catches and 52 stumpings behind the stumps as well.

Notably, Taniya Bhatia topped the wicket-keeping charts in the last two T20 World Cups and also said that the comparison with Dhoni motivates her to work harder on her skills as well.

“I just met him once and I was actually very shy. I don’t know. I didn’t actually interact with him that much. Obviously, he is a big inspiration to me,” Bhatia said.

Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the entire world into a standstill. She last appeared in the final of 2020 T20 World Cup in March at a packed MCG where India lost to Australia.

Meanwhile, Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) has offered Category A central contracts for the 2020-21 season to Taniya Bhatia and India’s T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur. However, according to the PCA, the players in Category A will get an amount of Rs 8 lakh under the contract system termed as scholarship scheme. Apart from them, Jasia Akhtar too has been offered Category B contract, that is Rs 6 lakh per annum.

On the other hand, Taniya Bhatia will take part in the Women’s T20 Challenge in the United Arab Emirates during the first week of November.

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