S. Meghana awaits turning point moment in New Zealand

S. Meghana, who last played for India in six T20Is in 2016, is back in the squad for the T20Is in New Zealand and as standby for the World Cup.

S. Meghana has been named in the Indian women's cricket squad for the forthcoming New Zealand tour.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Self-belief and consistency in domestic cricket helped S. Meghana return to the Indian women's cricket team. She has been named as the first stand-by for the World Cup in New Zealand in March.

She is also included in the T20I squad. “Now waiting to grab the big opportunity when it comes my way. 

"Frankly, it was a long wait as the last time I played for India was in six T20Is in 2016. But, ever since, I scored three fifties in the 2019 Quadrangular Series in Patna for India-B, the confidence was back and I started batting more consistently,” the 25-year-old Meghana said in a chat with Sportstar ahead of the training session with captain Mithali Raj at the Mangalagiri ACA Academy in Guntur.

“The recent Challenger Trophy in Mulapadu where I had scores of 60, 102, 0 and 45 proved to be decisive as importantly I started batting consistently in the bigger events in domestic cricket,” the South Central Railway cricketer said.

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“I don’t want to think too big. Just wait for the opportunities and prove a point or two when I get them,” said Meghana, who is grateful to her South Central Railway coach RSR Murthy, V. Chamundeshwarnath, former BCCI junior selection panel chairman for providing turf wickets in Madhapur here.

“I remember early days when Purnima Rao (former India captain) who as Andhra coach insisted that I should work on my batting more seriously since she felt I could hit even good-length deliveries, which played a big role,” she said.

“And, there is Nooshin (Al Khadeer) who has always been so helpful in giving invaluable tips along with Mithali akka. They played a big role in me being more consistent,” she said.

For someone who fine-tuned basics with her first coach Srinivas Reddy of ACA and Krishna Rao in Vijayawada, Meghana said she made minor adjustments to her backlift. “Now, it is more of a mindset. I am more positive, intent and developed the ability to play the ball on merit, irrespective of the situation,” she said.

Meghana admires Mithali for “having grown up watching her” and legend Sachin Tendulkar and feels that the New Zealand tour could well be the turning point of her career.

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