Veda eagerly awaits WBBL stint

Veda Krishnamurthy, who will be available for the Hobart Hurricanes for 10 games in the upcoming WBBL, talks about playing out of her comfort zone, mingling with players from different cultures, taunting Heather Knight and more.

Veda Krishnamurthy became the third Indian (after Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana) to land a contract in the Women's Big Bash League.   -  G.P. Sampath Kumar

Cricketers move to foreign shores to get acquainted with different conditions, to get richer with experience. Young Indian swashbuckler Veda Krishnamurthy sees the one-year deal with Hobart Hurricanes in the upcoming Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) no differently. The Bengaluru-based player hopes the stint in Australia would hone her skills, make her better.

Veda became the third Indian (after Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana) to land a contract in Australia's glitzy T20 league. Veda, who has donned the Indian jersey 77 times, will be available for 10 games for the Hurricanes before flying home to join the Indian team for the tour to South Africa.

For Veda, playing in a new country, in a new team, doesn't seem demanding. "The BBL is all about playing out of my comfort zone, playing with players who do not know you, players with different skill sets etc. Creating a bond with them would be the challenging part and I am up for it. There is a cultural difference and if I can over come the initial hiccups, I am sure I can excel in developing a camaraderie which would help me improve as a player in the long run," she told Sportstar.

With England's Heather Knight leading the team and former Australian stumper Julia Price coaching the team, Veda knows she'd learn a lot. A call with Price helped her erase most of her doubts and she's eager to join the squad. "I spoke to Price about my comfort zones, like where I would like to bat, my best fielding positions etc. Price made me feel at ease — made me understand the set-up and the team composition. I know she has a plan for me and we spoke about how we would be playing in the league," she said.

Known as a finisher, Veda, who became synonymous with aggression especially after her 45-ball 70 against New Zealand in the World Cup, said the role of a player can never be defined in T20 cricket. "The game is so fast that the concept of waiting and playing is eliminated. One must get on scoring right from ball one and with the aggressive player I am, it shouldn't be a tough ask in adapting to the requirements of the team," Veda explained.

Veda, who has batted in the top and middle orders in the past, hopes she can get some quality time in the middle to ease into her role. “I have always been fluctuating up and down the batting order. It's almost like I have never had a fixed slot. I have played at 3, 4 or 5 and at times even lower. I would definitely enjoy batting up the order as the faster bowlers will be in action and I expect the ball to come up to the bat. That's a more comfortable option for me," she said.

The Indian batter credited Mithali Raj for her inputs and motivation. The duo played together and stitched many match-winning partnerships and even play together for Railways in the domestic circuit. "Mithali has been a great source of inspiration for me. We have spoken about these contracts in the past and when I got this, she immediately asked me to accept the offer. She feels that as a youngster, I need to get that experience of playing in different conditions that can help me become better at my game. Although the domestic season clashes with the BBL, she was instant in giving me a no objection certificate," she added.

But along with learning, Veda also looks at the fun the stint can offer. " I am looking forward to experiencing what Australia can offer. Since we have games on the weekends, we almost get a three-day break during the weekdays. Surfing is on my mind as the country is famous for it. Also, I will miss taunting Heather Knight on the catch that she dropped in the World Cup final. (Knight dropped Veda on 14). Had we won, I would have had fun in saying that 'you dropped the World Cup'," she laughed. 

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