Ellyse Perry, one of the modern greats of the game, called Shreyanka Patil the special talent for the future while praising her attitude towards the game and the all-around skill she has at a very young age. Sophie Devine too also said that she is going to play for India in years to come.
The prophecy that Perry-Devine made during the Inaugural Women’s Premier League, about Shreyanka Patil, while playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, showed her true colours as Patil, playing her first international match picked up 5 wickets for just 2 runs in her three overs for India A, to bundle Hong Kong at a mere 34 runs.
India ‘A’ started their journey with a comfortable 9-wicket victory with 88 balls to spare, in the Inagaural ACC Emerging Asia Cup. Shreyanka Patil, who threw her dice to become a fast bowler, leg spinner and even wicketkeeper in her initial days, finally stuck to her off-spinner role one week prior to the U-16 trails for her stateside, brought into the attack in the 9th over when Mariko Hill and Marina Lamplough had added 10 runs for the 4th wicket. Marina Lamplough who had played in the Fairbreak Tournament, was to face her.
The first ball pitched outside off stump and spun back vivaciously to hit the off and middle as Lamplough went for the slog sweep. Elysa Hubbard played the rest of the over safely. In her next over Mariko Hill, the seasoned campaigner for Hong Kong, went to cut the ball that came back from outside off. It was too close to cut and keeper Uma Chettry did the rest. Though Hill looked stunned by the decision, Maryam Bibi lost her wicket to her in the very next ball by trying to hoick Patil.
One whose strength lies in the flight and dips while her ability to turn the ball makes it special as her coach Arjun Dev mentions, and with the pitch that provides assistance to the spinners, off-spinner Patil pitched balls in the right place and made life miserable for the batters. Later in that over, Betty Chan was judged lbw.
Shreyanka Patil whose inclusion in the Indian A side was based on her stellar WPL performances completed her five-wicket haul as she cleaned up Ruchitha Venkatesh for 1. In her three overs, only one run came from the bat as she conceded one wide and one leg bye. It was difficult to judge anyone rather than her as the player of the match for her figure of 3-1-2-5.
Arjun Dev, who has been nurturing her for the last couple of years, first in Dravid-Padukone Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru and then in his NICE academy where Patil was the first female cricketer, obviously very happy with her feat and said that she is still in the process of progress. To him, the way she got her wicket in the very first ball might have boosted her morale while as a coach he is very much happy by the way the ball came out of her hand.
“When she gets her technical cues right she becomes a different bowler, the balls came out of her hand really nice. Wickets were the by-product of the right technique.” Speaking with Women’s CricInsight about the strength she has, Dev told that Patil knows her role and responsibility of being an aggressive spinner. “There will be times when she could be expensive but that won’t stop her from going for wickets from going for the wickets.”
Shreyanka Patil who started her cricketing journey at the tender age of 8 or 9 at her father’s facilities with a hanging ball came into prominence when she was picked by the RCB in the WPL auction. In a side which had players like Ellyse Perry, Sophie Devine, Heather Knight or even Smriti Mandhana, her strike rate of 152 was the highest among the side.
ACC Women’s Emerging Teams Asia Cup 2023: “I am very grateful to be wearing this jersey” – Shreyanka Patil
One who wanted to finish games like ace Indian wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik did not have plans to become a batter, but once she worked with her coach Arjun Dev, gradual development in her batting led to her inclusion into the Karnataka middle order.
In her debut match against Mumbai Indians, against a versatile blowing attack she scored 23 with four boundaries at a strike rate of 153 In her next she scored an unbeaten 11 from 4, coming to bat at number 8 and picked up 2 for 32. Her batting prominence forced the management to move up her up the order. Her 62 runs for RCB, came down the order when others failed to score at a brisk pace. The offspinner in her took 6 wickets and that too was the highest for her side, best of 2/17 came against the Gujrat Gaints.
While WPL helped her to sharpen her skill as a cricketer it has also helped her understand her abilities as well. While she learnt about the fact that overfocusing on the result or pushing too hard can be detrimental to success, the experiences she got, playing with the international players gave her the desired confidence that she belongs to cricket and can lead a bowling attack.
One who used to cheer RCB from the stands a couple of years back had the wickets of Ash Gardner, Laura Wolvarrdt and Yastika Bhatia. Her inclusion in India A side was largely based upon her stellar performances in the WPL where she compete against the gainst of the game and she proved that decision right with 5 wicket haul in the very first match.
After her stunning show with the ball, Shreyanka Patil expressed gratitude for her fifer on debut. She said it is the perfect beginning to her India career.
“I am very grateful to be wearing this jersey,” Shreyanka Patil told ACC. “Since I was a kid, I was dreaming to wear this jersey and I won’t stop dreaming, I’ll continue dreaming, but the thing is that it’s just in the beginning and thoroughly enjoyed this fifer because it means a lot to me. On a debut getting five wickets, just an amazing feeling.”
We hope to see many more Shreyanka Patil shows in the future!