Gongadi Trisha is a second year intermediate student at Bhavan’s Sri Aurobindo Junior College in Secunderabad. And at a time when most of her friends and classmates are preparing for the Board examinations - scheduled for early next year - Trisha is gearing up for a different test around the same time - the U-19 Women’s T20 World Cup.
If things fall in place, the 16-year-old will don India colours and be on the flight to South Africa where the inaugural edition of the tournament is to be held and she is ready to put in the hard yards to realise her dream.
“Because of matches, I can’t attend classes regularly, but I take tuition classes in the evening and catch up on my studies,” Trisha told Sportstar.
Despite being a student of commerce, Trisha hates mathematics, but is happy to add to the misery of opposition bowlers. She top-scored with 36 to guide the India U-19 Women’s team to 176 for six in the second T20 against New Zealand at Mumbai Cricket Association’s Bandra-Kurla Complex ground on Tuesday. Chasing a mammoth total, New Zealand was bundled out for 66, with Hurley Gala (three for 18) and Archana Devi (three for 15) claiming three wickets apiece. Trisha, too, bagged a wicket - rattling the stumps of Kayley Knight.
While Trisha is happy with the team’s performance, she wants to work on her ‘basics’ once the five-match series gets over, keeping the U-19 Women’s World Cup in mind. “I am learning match-by-match and I am trying to make sure that I learn from my mistakes. I don’t want to repeat my mistakes in the next match and that’s how it has been,” she said.
Cricket found Trisha when she was just three years old, because of her father GV Ram Reddy. He quit his job and moved to Hyderabad so that his daughter could hone her skills.
“My dad supported me a lot. He travels with me everywhere - be it during the camp or even now for the tournament. He really motivates me and it was because of his support that I could come so far,” she said. Trisha eventually bagged the Player of the Year award from the BCCI in junior-level cricket.
Trisha was just 12 when she broke into the Hyderabad side for the senior challengers. Those who have followed her journey from close quarters consider her as a prodigy in women’s cricket, and her steady rise in the ranks over the years has only proved them right.
Mithali Raj, also based out of her home city, has been Trisha’s role model growing up and has had a ringside view to Raj’s cricketing prowess given that both train at the prestigious St. John’s Cricket Academy.
“I have bowled to her at times and have also practised with her sometimes. Frequently, she comes to the academy and we have had interactions,” Trisha said. “What I have learned from Mithali didi is how to focus on your game and everything that you do…”
As she gears up for the T20 World Cup in South Africa, she wants to discuss a thing or two with her before leaving for the mega event. “If I get a chance, I will definitely be speaking to her and take some suggestions,” the youngster said.
Alongside her stylish batting, Trisha is also an effective leg-spinner. In the recently-concluded quadrangular series, she was a consistent performer - having played innings of 49 and 58 and also claiming a wicket to help U-19 Team B win key matches.
When she featured for the state team for the first time, former India international Nooshin Al Khadeer was her coach. The decorated coach is also at the helm of the U-19 side and Trisha is determined to make the most of her time with her.
“It’s a great experience for us as this will be our first World Cup at the U-19 level. Personally, I am focusing on my game keeping the T20 format in mind,” she said.