CHENNAI: Veda Krishnamurthy’s recent form has been somewhat similar to Perth’s weather on Monday: unpredictable. It was the same city that hosted the women’s T20 World Cup match between India and Bangladesh which the Women in Blue won to inch closer towards semifinals.
Though India’s second win of the tournament was headlined by Shafali Verma’s blitz and Poonam Yadav’s reliable leg-breaks, it is fair to say that Veda also played an equally vital role.
For a top-heavy side like India, Veda — who has played 73 T20Is — brings the much-needed experience to the middle. When the chips are down, she is capable of playing the role of an anchor. On other days, she can score quick to frustrate the bowlers.
Having featured in the Women’s Big Bash League, she knows a thing or two about playing in Australia. This experience was put into use when she made an unbeaten 21 off 11 balls against Bangladesh on Monday. When runs dried up after a flying start, it was the 27-year-old’s cameo that injected some life at the death. India scored 23 from two overs with Veda accounting for all four boundaries that helped the team post 142. Eventually, they won by 18 runs.
While this knock may not be classified as exceptional, it showed signs of her getting back into the groove. In the last two years, she has been in and out of the squad.
While there was no doubt about her potential, it was the consistency that often raised questions about her selection.
“Her form looks good. But she is capable of much more,” said former India women’s coach and selector Purnima Rau.
“Personally, I felt she was not getting enough time in the middle. She is not someone who you could give three or four overs. I feel it is ideal to send her in the 12th over. She can be damaging.”
While even skipper Harmanpreet Kaur acknowledged that Veda’s innings was the turning point against Bangladesh, it remains to be seen if she can perform on a consistent basis.
“She was playing across the line which might not help her cause in the next few games. She is a bit immature at times. She plays according to her instincts. She can probably tone down a bit,” added Purnima.
Though she had a quiet tri-series before the T20 World Cup, the past few months have been kind to her. Veda made her presence felt in the West Indies series scoring a career-best unbeaten 57. Following that, she hit two 35-plus scores in three T20s for India A side against Australia in December.
In January, Veda led India C to title in the senior women’s T20 Challenge in Cuttack.
As far as the T20 WC is concerned, it is clear that the team is ready to back her because of the experience she brings to the young side.
Having shown signs of repaying that faith, she could pose a threat against New Zealand too, who India will be playing on Thursday.