Stress not an issue for Kanika Ahuja, 20-year-old RCB winner

“Mere dimaag primary bas yeh chal raha that ki mujhe match jeetna hain. (The one factor on my thoughts was that I wished to win this match.) It feels regular for me (enjoying in opposition to the massive names), I don’t really feel strain.”

There was a blinding smile on a 20-year-old. Kanika Ahujaface when he entered the press convention room after turning on Royal Challengers Bangalore to their first win in it Ladies’s Premier League. She spoke with confidence, about speaking to Virat Kohli and attempting to mimic Suryakumar Yadav’s 360-degree pictures.

It was his first press convention, Ahuja mentioned later, however why ought to there be any nerves? He had simply stepped up and finished what no veteran on his staff had finished: deal with the strain and get these first factors. Ahuja’s 46 of 30 balls is the best rating by an uncapped participant within the WPL to this point, and it got here at a pivotal second: in a match he should win after 5 straight losses.

Royal Challengers have been chasing simply 136 however had misplaced their huge three, Smriti Mandhana, Sophie Devine and Ellyse Perry, when Ahuja began her inning within the seventh. Heather Knight was sacked quickly after, with Royal Challengers needing 76 off 66 balls and within the midst of an all-too-familiar batting disaster.

How does Ahuja reply? Sticking to your recreation, discovering the restrict and maintaining the demand price in verify. “The goal was small, so I had an opportunity to take my time and play, that’s what I did,” she mentioned. “I waited for the fumbles and the one factor on my thoughts was that we’ve got to win.”

The Australian all-rounder from UP Warriorz grace harris he mentioned that Ahuja had performed good tackles. “He performed the situations and the bowlers very effectively,” mentioned Harris. “She noticed rhythm a few occasions and he or she introduced us up (she picked her up), I assumed that was very good. She has bat swing and as a lefty, she will get underneath the ball.”

Ahuja had already proven glimpses of his potential within the match. in opposition to the Mumbai Indians, the place he scored 22 of 13 balls. “Everybody instructed me that my intention was good, however that I can do higher. I used to be sorry that I had the chance and left early.” In opposition to the Warriorz, he missed a half-century by 4 runs, however he didn’t remorse it; His staff had lastly received and that was all that mattered for now.

Ahuja devoted the second to her mom, her biggest help. “There was a time when my mom would push me to play. Now, she is just not bodily effectively and I’m enjoying right here for her, enjoying as a result of she is watching me.”

Cricket was initially a means for her mom to get Ahuja out of the home as a toddler, nevertheless it quickly meant extra and it was her mom who supported this resolution.

“I used to go primarily as a result of my mother instructed me to go exterior and play and to not hassle her at residence. If she was residence, she would fly kites on the roof so she would push me to go exterior and play,” Ahuja mentioned with fun. “My household didn’t even know there was cricket for ladies… My father instructed me to concentrate on my research as a result of there’s nothing in cricket, however my mom mentioned go play.”

That preliminary drive to play and continued help introduced Ahuja to DY Patil Stadium, the place hundreds of followers chanted his title on Wednesday evening. “I used to be having fun with it, it felt actually good listening to ‘Kanika, Kanika’. It’s each gamer’s dream to have folks root for them, it didn’t really feel like strain in any respect.”

Ahuja is understood for her heavy hitting talents. In September, she scored 305 not out on 122 balls for Patiala within the Punjab one-day inter-district senior girls’s event. However doing it in her residence state is completely different from nailing her pictures within the WPL, whatever the dimension of the caps.

However then once more, what’s the strain for somebody that cool? “Virat sir mentioned it’s not strain, it’s pleasure.”

Kohli had met with the Royal Challengers girls’s staff on the morning of their match in opposition to the Warriorz. “He motivated us, a few of his phrases caught with me and helped me,” Ahuja mentioned. “Once you’re enjoying, don’t take it as strain, it’s a pleasure that you just’re enjoying. Some folks don’t get the possibility.”

Kohli is just not the one Indian male cricketer Ahuja seems to for inspiration. You may see a part of Suryakumar’s 360 diploma vary in his punching recreation. She additionally has an infectious vitality on the sector, as evidenced by Devine actually choosing her up after catching her.

A left-handed energy hitter who additionally bowls, Ahuja is a prospect for the long run, and the WPL is a platform constructed for gamers like her. Regardless of their poor outcomes this season, Royal Challengers has the system to be a ending college for the likes of Ahuja and Shreyanka Patil, who scored the profitable runs in opposition to the Warriorz. “This can be a nice expertise as a nationwide participant to play in opposition to worldwide gamers,” Ahuja mentioned. “If we put together now, it is going to assist the Indian staff transfer ahead.”

Taking part in for India is his final dream and Ahuja is on his technique to obtain it.