Saika can make a comeback at any time: Yastika Bhatia


Mumbai Indians (MI) opener Yastika Bhatia hailed Purple Cap holder and teammate Saika Ishaque for her match-winning contribution of 3-33 in their Women’s Premier League (WPL) match against UP Warriorz (UPW) at the Brabourne Stadium on Sunday. The left-arm spinner now has 12 wickets in the tournament.

After dismissing Devika Vaidya (6 off 5) in her first over, Ishaque was smashed for four fours by opener Alyssa Healy (58 off 46) in the second. She returned later for her fourth over and picked Healy and Tahlia McGrath (50 off 37) to solidify MI’s stance in the match, thus restricting UPW to 159-6. 

“Saika is a bowler who can come back at any time in a match. We have full faith in her. She has taken wickets in previous matches and holds the Purple Cap as well. She wasn’t hassled. Sometimes you get hit for runs, sometimes you get wickets… it’s part of the game.” Harmanpreet Kaur, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Jhulan Goswami [MI bowling coach] and I were telling her what lines she can bowl, which helped her”, the wicketkeeper-batter added.

Also Read: WPL 2023: Mumbai Indians win fourth consecutive match, beat UP by 8 wickets

Knocks from Bhatia (42 off 27), skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (53 not out off 33) and Sciver-Brunt (45 not out off 31) ensured MI completed the task in 17.3 overs to remain undefeated in the tournament after four games. Bhatia heaped praise on the team environment and coaching staff, who have provided them the freedom they need. “[Our] coaches told us since Day One to play our natural game and not take any pressure. There are a lot of young players in the team who haven’t debuted for India as yet. They have been backed as well. The experienced players are leading by example with good performances, which help the team a lot. The team environment is full of fun and laughter. We gel and bond well.” 

When mid-day asked her about the change in the Brabourne Stadium pitch, she said: “There is turn on offer if you bowl slow with good revs [revolutions], which our spinners exploited. The pitch is getting slower as we are progressing into the tournament so maybe 180-190 is a good score now.”



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