Accuracy and pin-point yorkers on world champion Titas Sadhu's mind
The Under-19 world champion is one of the young Indians who could attract a lot of interest during the WPL auction
Titas Sadhu is strong and fast, already a world champion, getting better, and one of the young Indian players to keep an eye on at the Women's Premier League (WPL) auction. On January 29, she returned 2 for 6 and bagged the Player-of-the Match award at the Under-19 World Cup final as India beat England with some ease. After coming home, she has gone back to training, trying to become more accurate and remove niggles like bowling full-tosses when attempting a yorker.
"We sometimes see fast bowlers trying to bowl yorkers but end up bowling full-tosses. That's one of the things we are working on now," Titas' father and primary coach Ranadeep Sadhu tells ESPNcricinfo. "At the same time, we are trying to get more control and accuracy in her bowling. She is also working on her batting."
Ranadeep comes from a sporting background and was an athlete in his younger days. He also runs a cricket academy in his hometown of Chinsurah, around 50 kilometres from Kolkata. Titas was a sprinter and swimmer when she was younger - she is still only 18 - but became more interested in cricket after starting to train at the academy, slowly spending more and more time trying to perfect her game. And then came the usual, big question: studies or cricket? In her case, the matter was complicated, because she was a good student. It reached a stage where the family considered moving out of India and making a home in a place where she could focus on both equally.
"She was quite good at academics - she got 93% in her school-leaving exams," Ranadeep says. "But she couldn't continue because of her cricket. Her mother and I once thought we could settle somewhere else, where she could play for a local team and not lose touch with her studies. But she said, 'If I am to play cricket, it has to be for India; if I can't play for India, what's the point of playing?' That aside, it wasn't easy for us to leave everything and relocate anyway."
Fortunately for Indian cricket, that didn't happen. She became a cricketer, and in 2023, the ICC hosted the first Under-19 World Cup for women, where Titas was a star. With a little help from her father.
"Before the final, when she called me, I told her just one thing: 'You have reached the final, now your work is over'," Ranadeep recalls. "She was a little surprised and asked me what I meant. I said, 'Getting to the final is the main thing, don't think about what will happen in the final; it doesn't matter if you win the final or not, you have already made us proud. Now just go out and do what you have trained for all these years'."
Now, there's the WPL auction, where, with 60 spots available for Indian cricketers, Titas could well be in demand.
"You play for your country and, in tournaments like these, you play for your franchise. The player's skill level is key in both," Ranadeep says. "But at the WPL, she will be able to play alongside cricketers from other countries and learn from them. That's what I really want for Titas. I want her to be part of a good team, a balanced team, where she can show everyone what she can do.
Rajan Raj is a Sub Editor at ESPNcricinfo Hindi