Updated: Aug 20, 2019
The fear of failure which was supposed to be staying within the periphery of Saurashtra took off in the same plane with the girls and hit the Pondicherry shores.
Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, once very wisely said: "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." Somewhere, Saurashtra Women (SCA) followed the same footsteps and figured out the winning ways in the ongoing Senior Women's T20 League.
Earlier, Saurashtra Women had lost all the games they played at the Senior Women's One-day league except for the game against Haryana Women which was called off due to bad weather. Having suffered such a heavy drubbing from the Elite A group teams, they were forced to face the relegation from the group. Last thing that girls wanted in their well-illustrated resume.
On the positive side, a month off the cricketing activities between One-day and T20 league for the senior girls was a welcome break in the sense of figuring out the mistakes and initiating the process to rectify them. They worked hard in odd hours on the grey areas and kept themselves afresh for the opportunity. Whereas for the young ones, the Under-23 T20 tournament was a perfect platform to regain their lost confidence and rhythm ahead of the Senior T20 league.
In a candid conversation with the Saurashtra Women's captain, Mridula Jadeja, over the failure of one-dayers and mindset ahead of the T20 league, she explained, "I think a blow was much needed and that has made everyone think about their game. Skills can't be changed overnight but, the attitude and approach towards each game will, she asserted."
T20 League (Group E) Journey
The fear of failure which was supposed to be staying within the periphery of Saurashtra took off in the same plane with the girls and hit the Pondicherry shores. Even before they could get hold of the place, they found themselves in trouble straightaway as they lost the first two back-to-back games of the tour. Not the kind of start girls wanted after the one-dayers' debacle.
But, the skipper had the belief in her troop that they can still turn it around and put up a brave fight. Not did the girls win successive games, but also instilled a sense of fear among the strong teams of the group. Closing in with Kerala (KCA) and Bengal (CAB) at 16 points, they defeated all the teams below them in the points table and Kerala who finished 3rd. However, they couldn't defeat the strongest side of the group, Madhya Pradesh (MPCA) but, they certainly made them sweat in a group game.
On paper, they could only register four wins out of seven and finish 5th with the 16 points on the table. But, for the girls, who were completely outplayed in every department of the game in the one-day league, the journey to the Pondicherry will always be among the best of their memories. They fought some tough battles here.
For the record, Jayu Jadeja hit the maximum runs 207 in 7 innings, including a scintillating ton against Mizoram, she is also among the highest run-getters in the group stage and Neha Chavda left-arm slow, who bagged the most wickets 11 from 7 games. But, Saurashtra is not the team built on some individual performances.
Bhakti Shastri and Riddhi Ruparel's partnership against Pondicherry (CAP), Mridula Jadeja's innings against Rajasthan, Pooja Nimavat's contribution at the top and Reena Mota, Puja Modhwadia, Nirali Oza, Reena Dabhi's tight spells at the crucial juncture of the match are the testament to the overall success of Saurashtra Women's cricket team.
Saurashtra Women's cricket team have shown a great character throughout the tournament. Their fighting spirit is still a point of discussion among the group members. Whether it was the change in captaincy that did the trick for the team or understanding of the roles, nonetheless, the team has definitely emerged out of the shadow of the poor performer's tag. In the end, it augurs well for Saurashtra Women team as they were able to tick a lot of boxes on tour.
"Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston S. Churchill
This little burst of wins has unquestionably sparked the girls up for better performances in the upcoming battles. And they as a player would be more excited to carry on the winning momentum forward in spite of the obstacles they face on the way to the top.