Hove, July 12 (IANS) Deepti Sharma, who helped India win the second T20 International against England with all-round show, has emerged as a contender for captaincy in an Indian women’s cricket team that is seeing Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur walk towards the end of their careers.
Mithali, 38, can quit anytime and though the 32-year-old Harmanpreet still has a few years, the burden of captaincy has been weighing heavily on her as her depleting form shows.
Deepti made 24 off 27 balls to help India get to a competitive total on Sunday night and then snared half-centurion Tammy Beaumont in a spell of 1/18 off four overs.
The 23-year-old from Agra has led from the front and shown grit.
“I like to play in pressure situations, whatever be the position — whether it is in batting, bowling or fielding. As an all-rounder, I try to give my best and maximum contribution in every department. The more I take the team forward, the better it is,” said Deepti after the match.
The left-handed batswoman, who bowls off-spin, has put up exemplary performances on the tour of England.
She took 3/65 in the one-off Test and scored 29 (off 73 balls) to take India to 231 all out from 197/8 in first innings. Importantly, Deepti dropped anchor and scored a determined 54 (off 168 balls) in the second innings of the Test, stitching 70 with opener Shafali Verma for second wicket and 72 for third wicket with Punam Raut as India, despite following on, managed to draw the Test.
Even in Friday’s first T20I which India lost under DLS method, Deepti took 3/47, removing dangerous Natalie Sciver, Sophia Dunkley and Amy Jones and scoring 18.
“I like to lead the team and even in domestic competitions, I try to lead the team forward. It gives me extra confidence,” she added.
“That confidence [gained from domestic cricket], you bring here. Although this platform is not easy but if you handle it well… Of course, these [pressure] situations and positions, I know how to read and handle. I find it easy and it looks like I can handle them.”