safari staff
18 Dec 2022 | 02:32 AM

We have to be one step forward with the ball: Devika Vaidya

The leg spinner is coming back into the Indian team after eight years and has been the pick of the bowlers in the first four matches

One of the most consistent performers in the domestic circuit, Devika Vaidya made a comeback to the national side after eight years for the five-match series against Australia in Mumbai. 

The all-rounder has been consistent in the four matches and played a crucial knock of 32 off 26 deliveries on Saturday to help India inch closer to the 189-run target. 

In the post-match press conference, Vaidya shared insights on her performance and her role in the middle order and said, "When I went into bat, it was pretty easy for me to show some confidence and rotate the strike, and that was needed at that time. Harman also needed someone at the other end so that she could capitalise on the opportunities, and it was good batting with her, especially with the crowd around. 

"Now, whenever I bat is totally dependent on the situation on when we are batting and what phase of the innings it is. That is the challenge and my role and I am really enjoying it," she further added. 

The 25-year-old endured a tough couple of years due to injuries but stated that donning the national colours and the dream of winning the World Cup has kept her going through the hard times. 

"It was all good until 2017, but I had to miss a lot of series due to injuries and illness, which resulted in a lack of confidence that I could really make a comeback at play at the top level," she said. 

"It is always a dream to come back, play for the country and win a World Cup, and it always kept me going. My friends and family have supported me throughout the tough situations, especially during covid, when I just lost my mom a year back."

"I used to speak to Smriti during tough situations, and we know each other since childhood, and it is our dream to play a World Cup together and win it for India. It was all about the correct mindset and correct atmosphere where if I get in that zone, I will be fine," she further added. 

The Pune-born player shared her struggle with mental health after losing her mother just before covid, making this comeback even more special. 

"I was in a practice session when it happened, and for the next one year, I was in a state of shock. Playing had become an escape for me because I did not feel like going home, and especially during covid, it was difficult for me, but I also had to support my family because it was a loss for them as well," she said. 

With the series providing plenty of excitement to the fans and going all the way down to the wire, the bowling unit of both sides have found it tough. Devika revealed the strategies the Indian team is working towards getting better for the last game and the T20 World Cup coming in early 2023. 

"Playing against a country like Australia, we need to learn and adapt quickly. I know my roles, so it is getting easier for me," she said. 

"There are a couple of game plans that we are working on, not just for this series but also for the World Cup. Going forward, we are working on reading the batters quickly, and we have to be one step forward," she concluded.

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