The elusive World title and an Olympic gold medal are topmost on young spinner Shreyanka Patil’s wish list, as she is ready to embark on a journey in international cricket that promises to be an eventful one.
Patil made a name for herself in the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) for Royal Challengers Bengaluru with a batting strike rate of 150 plus (151.22) and six wickets with her off-breaks.
She also became the first Indian player to take part in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) for the Guyana Amazon Warriors and picked up nine wickets in four games.
The 21-year-old was rewarded with a call-up to the senior women’s side for the WT20I series against England to be played at the Wankhede Stadium on December 6, 9, and 10.
“My topmost goal is always about winning the World Cup for India — I want to be a part of the winning squad. I am working towards that and when the Olympics happens, the gold medal for sure,” Patil said after the conclusion of India Women’s A series against England.
Cricket was included in the Olympics programme for the Los Angeles 2028 Games after a gap of 128 years in October.
Patil had a successful outing against England A women with the ball taking five wickets in three matches, including a ‘Player of the Match’ award in the first T20, but she knows that a lot has to be done with the bat too.
“I have been working particularly hard on my batting, maybe I have not exhibited as much as I should have in these matches, but I still trust my process and I believe that I can play the shots because I have done it previously,” Patil said.
As a bowling all-rounder, she has her priorities in order but more importantly, compartmentalising all aspects of the game is what Patil wants to focus on.
“I know how to devote time - be it (to) bowling or batting. My first skill is obviously as a bowler, then comes the batting aspect. I really work hard but I should be 100 per cent in one skill at least so I can give 70 to 80 per cent to my batting and my fielding has to be 120 per cent,” she said.
Having shared the dressing room with the legendary Ellyse Perry in the RCB camp as well as India vice-captain Smriti Mandhana and England skipper Heather Knight during the inaugural WPL, Patil terms it extremely beneficial to have learnt the nuances of the game from them.
“Before the WPL started, I was just a young girl playing for Karnataka. I was a domestic player, but once I was picked for WPL for the RCB team, I got to rub shoulders with Perry, Smritidi, Heather Knight, all of these legends,” Patil said.
“I could learn so much not just off the field but also on the field,” she added.
“Playing (at) international (level), there is so much of difference, the field set, the speed of the ball maybe, which areas to pick, which bowlers to pick, just picking up the legends’ mind was a key point for me,” she said.
Patil emerged as the highest wicket-taker in WCPL this year with nine wickets in five matches and exploited turning pitches, which the all-rounder says suits her style.
“I was the highest wicket-taker, I really enjoyed bowling in those conditions, (against) different players, playing (as) an overseas player was a challenge for me,” she said.
“My coach, Arjun Dev, was like, ‘now you’re not a baby, they’re not going to treat you as a baby, you are an overseas player you are no more the youngster. You will have to go talk to people, you will have to chat, around the team and out of that’.
“That was a challenge for me because I have not done it in the past. I really enjoyed (it) because there were turning tracks and nothing can stop me when I get wickets like that.” “It is something that I will always cherish forever,” said Patil, adding that dismissing top-order batters is something that she ‘loves’.
Mannat ready for challenge
Patiala’s 19-year-old left-arm spinner Mannat Kashyap is also a new face in the Indian side for the upcoming series against England.
Kashyap, who won the inaugural ICC U-19 Women’s World Cup earlier this year for India, says that she is ready to step into top flight cricket.
“It is a dream come true. I always had it in mind since my childhood that I wanted to play for India,” Kashyap said.
Having been part of World Cup winning India U-19 women’s team, Mannat doesn’t feel that the call has come at a wrong time.
“It is not early, I am ready for the challenge. If I am picked in the eleven, I have to do what is required to be done which would have been discussed,” she said.
A left-arm spinner who can bowl tight line and lengths consistently, Kashyap is looking to take her early lessons with India A into the international circuit.
“I try to keep it simple, I do not try anything fancy, most of the times I stick with my normal stock ball,” she said.
“It (India call-up) was a surprise indeed. Playing for India”A is a good platform to push on to the senior team. I will carry my confidence from here into the senior team,” Kashyap added.
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