HAPPY BIRTHDAY POONAM YADAV: India women’s cricketer Poonam Yadav is one of the premier leg spinners in world cricket at the moment. The UP-born made her international debut in 2013 against Bangladesh and ever since has been the crux of the Indian bowling unit. A real workhorse, Poonam Yadav is a street-smart cricketer who has bamboozled even the most elite batters with her variations. Her knack for taking crucial wickets at regular intervals has been paramount for the Indian side. The Arjuna Award recipient has represented India in 58 ODIs and 72 T20Is and has scalped a total of 178 wickets across the two formats.
As she celebrates her 31st birthday, let’s take a look at some of Poonam Yadav’s scintillating performances for India:
- 4 for 24 vs South Africa, 2018
After winning the first ODI quite emphatically, the Indian side led by Mithali Raj looked to seal the three-match series when they took on South Africa in the second match. Smriti Mandhana’s ton propelled India to a massive total of 302 runs. Chasing a huge target to keep the series alive, the Proteas were spun into oblivion by Poonam Yadav on a worn-out Kimberly pitch. She bagged four wickets on the day and India sealed the match by a vast margin of 178 runs.
- 4 for 13 vs Sri Lanka, 2016
In a thrilling ODI encounter against Sri Lanka at Ranchi, a young Poonam Yadav hogged the limelight after displaying her orthodox leg breaks mixed with top spinners and unpredictable googlies. Chasing a target of 246, the Lankan batters were bamboozled by a crafty spinner. She finished with impressive figures of 4/13 and maintained an economy rate of under 3 runs per over. Sri Lanka was bowled out for 138 runs, handing India a massive 107-run victory.
- 4 for 9 vs Bangladesh, Asia Cup 2018 Final
On the night of the all-important finals of the 2018 Asia Cup, the spin maestro proved to be absolutely unplayable for the Bangladesh batters. India had a nightmare collapse in the last hurdle and posted mere 112 runs. Bangladesh was off to a flying start against the Indian seamers. Right when it felt like the match was a dead rubber, Poonam stepped in to make life hell for the batters. She gave away just 9 runs in her four overs and scalped 4 crucial wickets. However, even her career-best figures weren’t enough to crown India as the champions as they finished second best after Bangladesh in the Asia cup.
- 4 for 19 vs Australia, ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020
India scrapped a win from tough situations in the group stage encounter against Australia in the 2020 T20 World Cup. Defending a modest total of 132, India’s pocket rocket punished the Aussie batters as she obliterated the chase. Poonam Yadav finished with figures of 4/19 and was the wrecker in chief to restrict Australia to a score of 115.
- 5/19 vs Zimbabwe, ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier, 2017
Poonam’s career-best figures in ODIs came against Zimbabwe in 2017. Asked to bowl first, India handed the new ball to their veteran spinner. She did not disappoint and outmaneuvered the Zimbabwe batters ripping them apart one by one. Within a matter of 20 overs, India cleaned up their weak opponents for just 60 runs, courtesy of a bowling master class from Yadav. She registered figures of 5/19 and India sealed the deal in a contest that brought out the gulf in difference between the two sides.