Cricket

India Vs South Africa, 2nd ODI: 'I Always Got Help At Chinnaswamy', Leg-Spinner Asha Shobana Reveals

The 31-year-old's years of toil in domestic cricket was finally rewarded when she was picked in the playing XI for the first women's ODI of the three-match series against the touring South Africa

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Asha Shobana made a stunning debut against South Africa. Photo: rcbheadquarters/X
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Leg-spinner Asha Shobana on Tuesday attributed her splendid debut to the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, which has always been "special for her and gave her advantages". (More Cricket News)

The 31-year-old's years of toil in domestic cricket was finally rewarded when she was picked in the playing XI for the first women's ODI of the three-match series against the touring South Africa.

The Kerala spinner, who played a crucial role in Royal Challengers Bengaluru's WPL triumph this season, weaved her spin magic to return figures of 4/22 to help India bowl out the star-studded South Africa for 122 in their chase of 266.

"Chinnaswamy, of course, is very special for me. Even before I was playing for RCB, Chinnaswamy was always special to me. From my Under-19 days, whenever I bowl here, I got some advantages," Shobana said ahead of the second ODI in Bengaluru.

"Personally, I wanted to do my best. South Africa are a very good side, glad we won by such a big margin (of 143 runs). We have been watching them playing, they have some great players like Kapp, Sune Luus, and getting them all out is a great achievement as a team."

She thanked RCB for playing a big role in preparing herself for the international debut.

"WPL and RCB played a major role in my life. It's not easy to come and play at the international level. Playing at a crowded stadium during the WPL, the experience RCB gave me was very special to me," she added.

The four wickets included her "favourite" cricketer Marizanne Kapp, as the Proteas all-rounder was deceived by a full and widish delivery and drove straight to Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur at cover.

"I always stick to my basics and my strengths. That is what I did. Variations are key. Kapp is one of my favourite players.

"They have some of the greatest players in their team, so we cannot bowl in the same way each time or they will pick it up. We tried to vary the pace to create something and make them commit some errors," she said.

Asked who have been her idols, she said: "It's been always Sachin Tendulkar and as a bowler I've followed Anil Kumble during my childhood. There are also Stuart MacGill, Nitu David... I like Yuzvendra Chahal right now."

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