September 17, 1980, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
Also Known As
Left hand Bat
Right arm Medium
The left-handed Jaya Sharma is an attacking opening batsman and reminds one of a young Virender Sehwag - short and stocky, she often goes over the top of the inner circle - though she is also very adept in her defence. If Sharma is confident against fast opening bowlers, against the spinners she is downright cocky - nipping out of the crease and working away singles on either side of the wicket.
Being picked in the Asia squad for the Twenty20 in the Afro-Asia tournament in June - alongside India captain Mithali Raj, left-arm spinner Preeti Dimri, fast bowler Jhulan Goswami and wicketkeeper Sulakshana Naik - is an exciting opportunity for Sharma to cement her place as an opener for India. Her two century-partnerships with Karu Jain at the Quadrangular tournament in Chennai may convince the selectors to stick with the left-right combination when India host Sri Lanka for one Test and five ODIs.
Sharma has been in and out of the side since making her debut against England when they toured India in 2001-02. Unimpressive performances in the first three games meant she was replaced from the fourth and fifth ODIs. But she was picked for the tour to South Africa in March 2002 though she ended up playing only one match. Her first half-century, out of 13, came against Ireland at Dublin in what was her seventh ODI. Sharma had an exceptional season in 2003-04 where she averaged 59.11 against Sri Lanka and West Indies at home, scoring six half-centuries in 10 games. A miserable run of form at the World Cup in South Africa was turned around when she returned to the subcontinent and played England at home and then Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup in Pakistan. After a trip to New Zealand yielded yet more disappointing performances, Sharma missed the tour to England and the Asia Cup hosted by India. She got her chance to make a comeback in the Quadrangular tournament in Chennai where she averaged a healthy 52.33 against the bowling attacks of Australia, New Zealand and England.
Nishi Narayanan May 2007
Batting & Fielding