Having made strides in the junior circuit with her strokeful batting and wicket-keeping skills at the national level, Chandigarh-based Punjab cricketer Taniya Bhatia is on the cusp of venturing out at the senior national level.
Emerging as the highest run-scorer (227 runs and 10 dismissals in four two-day matches) in the recently concluded U-19 inter-zonal cricket tournament in Guwahati where she captained the North Zone, 17-year-old Taniya impressed the selectors with her prowess and has been drafted into the senior women’s North Zone cricket team for the upcoming inter-zonal cricket championship to be held in Kolkata from February 21.
She is the youngest member of the squad that is led by former Indian cricketer Reema Malhotra, 34, who is double her age. If Taniya, who is from former Indian cricketer Yograj Singh’s nursery in Chandigarh, does well in the Kolkata tournament, she could well be in the Indian team soon.
Speaking to Newsline, this is what Taniya said about her inclusion in the North Zone senior women’s team: “Playing alongside established and senior cricketers would definitely be a big boost for me. I am very keen to start the year on a good note and use the chance well.”
The senior inter-zonal tournament will have Indian cricketers like Mitahli Raj, Harmanpreet Bhullar, Jhulan Goswami and a few other big names in action. Five zones — North Zone, South Zone, East Zone, Central Zone and West Zone — will be competing in the tournament.
With the T-20 World Cup for women slated to be held in India in 2016, Indian selectors will be keeping an eye on young, talented cricketers, like Taniya.
“I have played a lot of cricket in the last eight years for Punjab. I think my form should now peak and my hard work should translate into good performances. I have set certain goals and I wish to achieve a few of them in 2015. I just need to go out there and deliver the goods,” said Taniya, a student of DAV Model School, Sector 15, Chandigarh.