India women's leg-spin all-rounder Devika Vaidya stated winning the World Cup for her side is the ultimate dream for her. Devika made her comeback to T20I cricket during the home series against Australia in December on the back of consistent performances in the domestic circuit.
Currently playing in the T20I tri-series in South Africa, Devika is also in India's squad for the upcoming Women's T20 World Cup to be held from February 10-26. "I think it has always been a dream of mine to stand for the national anthem for my country and the team, which I was unfortunately missing for the last few years."
"So, when I again got selected for the Indian team for the Australia series, I felt like I was in heaven. I also want to add one more thing - winning the World Cup is my ultimate dream," she said on the 'Believe in Blue' show on Star Sports.
Devika further spoke about the journey in improving as a player in order to make a comeback to the Indian team. "Actually, I was playing pretty consistently till 2017, but after that, I got a couple of injuries and illnesses, which lowered my morale. At that time, it was a very tough time for me because my mother had passed away and I didn't have a clear goal."
"I needed clarity, so I worked really hard during the lockdown period to get it while also asking myself whether I wanted to play or not. I couldn't run away from the fact that yes, I want to play for India yet again, and I started working on that thought process. I ultimately got clarity after that tough phase."
Asked on how she has adapted to different positions over the years, Devika explained, "Actually, I always batted in the top four order for the Maharashtra cricket team, but after the last two seasons, I realised that if I want to make an international comeback, I need to change my mind-set and practise accordingly."
"As a result, in the last two domestic seasons, I went lower down the order to bat and also adapted that very nicely, like going to bat in the 13th over and also accelerating the game simultaneously."
"I also worked on a couple of things with my bowling, and like I said, with a few changes in my game and mind-set, like batting in challenging situations, it helped me adapt to different positions over the year."
Devika also shared how her journey to playing cricket began. "I started playing cricket in 2003, but I only played for enjoyment at the time, so I never thought about making it a career."
"In 2011, I was selected for the 2011-12 U19 Maharashtra Cricket Team, and I eventually realised that I would need to take it seriously, so I started practising cricket on a regular basis."
"I was in 7th grade at the time, and I knew that if I could continue practising diligently and focus on my game, I could easily reach the India level."
Devika signed off by saying playing in the second T20I against Australia, where she got the match to a super over eventually won by India was a huge confidence booster and a cherished memory for her.
"Yes, there are many memories. Actually, the moment I step on the ground, it is always a great feeling, so there is no specific feeling about it, but the last ball boundary that I hit against Australia was a recent great memory for me."
"After that, I gained a lot of confidence and support, and it was only possible because of the huge crowd present at the stadium. Since I started playing U-19 cricket, I have always tried to give my best in every match by leading the team and also by trying to create more memories."
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