India’s rising batswoman Veda Krishnamurthy. Image Credit: K.R. Nayar/Gulf News

Dubai: Veda Krishnamurthy, the mainstay of Indian women team’s batting for the last few years, feels that the early setbacks in her career has made her a better player.

In a freewheeling interview to Gulf News on her career, she said that her setback soon after she made her debut taught her how to handle success and failures. It also made her understand that no one is bigger than the game. “It has been exactly seven years since my debut. I had lots of ups and downs in my career as I started off well and then I was off couple of years. I tasted success in my very first game. Batting at No. 5 (against England) I scored a half century. Since I did well in the first series itself there was lot of expectations from me and success got into my head. Everything was coming easy and so I thought things will be the same. Soon I got dropped for two years and that two years made me a better player. During that period I also realised you cannot be bigger than the game.”

A seasoned cricketer now, Veda feels that players should use setbacks to improve. “Ever since I came back from that period I have been regular in the Indian team. I feel I have improved as a player as well. Maybe, had I continued playing (without being dropped). I probably would have ended up my career pretty early. I was only 20 when I was dropped and the age was the motivating factor. I knew I had a long future ahead and this was just a beginning and that was something which kept me motivating.”

The right-hand batswoman, who played a big role in India reaching the final of the 2017 Women’s World Cup especially through a brilliant 45-ball knock of 70 that ousted New Zealand, further added: “You may go through many ups and down before you succeed, so do not lose heart, People often say failures are the steps for success and its true. If you put your heart and work towards your goal, you will surely achieve success. Some might achieve it early and some might a bit late but you will definitely have your time.”

Her talent and consistent performance took her to another level when she got picked for the Big Bash League in Australia: “Playing in Big Bash taught me realise that as a player what I can be for the team. For the first time I was out of my comfort zone to go and play in a different league. I also had to handle everything on my own and that is something which I had never done and that helped me improve as a player and as a person as well,” said Veda, who believes that a women’s Indian Premier League (IPL) in India is necessary.

“It is very important to have a Women’s IPL because it can lessen the gap between international and domestic cricket. The same has happened in men’s cricket. Cricketers who make their international debut now doesn’t look like they need time to get settled into the system.”

Veda is confident that India will win the next World Cup. “We almost won it last time. It was just like we had both our legs and one of the hands on the Cup and it was just a matter of another hand reaching there and we lost it. It was a very good experience because most of them were playing in their first World Cup and it was a very young side. The advantage is that for another three to four years the core would remain the same.”

When asked about the set back in the Asia Cup, losing to Bangladesh, Veda said: “We have to accept it and move forward. We cannot sulk about it saying that we lost the Asia Cup. We have the World Cup coming in and that is very important. I know people did not expect us to lose the Asia Cup but at the end of the day, as players, we have to accept it and move forward. If we do well in the World Cup then everything might just be covered up.”

Veda is one of the fittest cricketers in the team and owes it to being a black belt in karate. “I played cricket from a very young age with my brother and neighbours. I used to go for karate early in the morning as my dad wanted me to go. Cricket is something I loved and that is why I got stuck on to it. I owe it to karate to being acrobatic when it came to diving and falling on the ground while fielding.

“Since I come from a small town (Chikamagaluru in Karnataka) which did not have indoor facilities all grounds used to be mud grounds. I was not scared when it came to diving. I am very happy when Biju George, the fielding coach of the Indian team, said that I am the best fielder in the side. In fact, Biju has been very effective when it comes to fielding session. It is often match based fielding sessions and that is what we went and did in the game.”

Does Veda have any milestones? “My aim is to play for the team as long as possible and one day see myself leading the side.”