Women's Cricket

A 12-year-old succeeding in U-19 cricket: Meet G Trisha, Hyderabad’s sensational prodigy

She played her first Under-16 match at only eight years of age and this is now her fourth season on the domestic circuit.

A look at the scorecard of the ongoing Women’s Cricket Under-19 One Day series shows that Hyderabad’s G Trisha bowled an astonishing spell of 3/9 in her 10 overs against Kerala. On the face of it, those are great numbers. But the scoreboard also tells you she opened the batting. An all-rounder.

In the next match against Goa, she got 2/9 in her quota of overs and batted up the order again. Against Karnataka, she took 4/18 and then scored 52 opening the batting. Consistent.

Trisha is also the vice captain of the U-19 team, and has the experience of having played at the U-16 and U-23 level for Hyderabad. Talented.

But here’s the deal: Trisha is also only 12 years old. She was born on 15 December 2005, the year India reached the final of the women’s World Cup for the first time. She still isn’t even a teenager. But she has played with and against players almost a decade older than her and held her own. Prodigy.

G Trisha, first from left, in the seated row. Image Credit: Hyderabad Cricket Association
G Trisha, first from left, in the seated row. Image Credit: Hyderabad Cricket Association

“I’ve been seeing her for the last four or five years whenever I go to my cricket academy in Hyderabad,” R Sridhar, the men’s national fielding coach and one of the coaches at St. John’s Cricket Academy told The Field. “Even when I am there at odd hours, I see her hitting the ball or doing some drills with her coach.”

“It quite amazed me at the time for a young girl coming from Bhadrachalam [a small town in Telangana] who is playing even U-23 for Hyderabad, which is a phenomenal achievement. I am very impressed with her every time I see her,” he added.

An early start

All of 5’3’ for now, Trisha she is already fast-tracking into big league. But her cricket training also began on the fast track. When she was three, she was already getting the feel of bat connecting with ball.

“When she was just 2-3 years old, she used to hold a plastic bat. She used to hit 1000-2000 deliveries daily, off a ball hanging adjusted to her height. As soon as she came from school, she would play the 1000 balls and then enter the house. We used to count and she would hit,” her father Ram recounted.

Ram used to be a fitness coach back in Bhadrachalam, but he quit his gym to move to the city for better cricket facilities. He has always been interested in all sports and wanted his child, son or daughter, to play cricket for India. Trisha, the only child of her parents, was therefore set on the path of sport very early.

When she was four years old, she started playing on the ground and she began improving rapidly.

“Apart from her prodigious talent, Trisha’s game sense, was remarkable,” her uncle Uday said.

Her skills were honed at the St. John’s Cricket Academy in Hyderabad, a place where captain Mithali Raj has practised as well.

She sometimes used to travel for matches with the boys as well and soon people began to take note.

“Hyderabad cricketers such as VVS Laxman and Raj, both have seen her in action and India captain Raj, who also made her name in international cricket at only 16, has given the youngster a kit bag and more,” her uncle proudly added.

Playing U-16 at 8

She took part in the open selection by the Hyderabad Cricket Association even before she turned 10. She played her first U-16 at only eight years of age and this is now her fourth season on the domestic circuit.

Her bowling is what impressed in the selection matches, where even seniors struggled against her leg-spin. When she batted, she scored the runs and didn’t give her wicket easily.

Ananya Upendran, a fellow player from Hyderabad, who has also played for India A, has been closely following Trisha’s career. “I first saw her when she was nine and even when we watched her play, we knew there was something special about her,” said Upendran told The Field.

She recalled an incident from an U-19 match last year where the then 11-year-old Trisha almost won the match single-handedly with her opening spell after Hyderabad had been dismissed for a paltry 100.

“For a girl at her age to take that kind of pressure and deliver such a spell was great,” she recounted.

‘Keep an eye out on her bowling’

Trisha’s unique, a round-arm action for spin has left even players at the U-23 level flummoxed. She bowls a tight line and is known to not give away many runs, as her figures show. Her uncle Uday says that her action is a natural one, nobody taught her how to spin a ball and because it is wicket-to-wicket and effective, nobody changed it.

But being different from that of a traditional leg spinner, her action drew quite a bit of criticism on the cricket field, with many saying that she didn’t have her basics right. However, the person who stood up for her and encouraged her to not change was R Sridhar. In fact, he insisted that her action should not be interfered with by the coaches.

“I told her coach and her father that if anybody wants to tell her anything about her bowling action, tell them to get back to me.”

“She bowls well... very good leg-spin, quite accurate for her age. She has a very good action, and her bowling is something I will be keeping an eye on,” Sridhar added.

Interestingly, Trisha started as more of a top-order batter who bowls but is now veering towards a bowling all-rounder often finishing her full quota of overs.

While this may seem like a lot of stress for a 12-year-old, the more the workload, the more she has prospered. To make her place among players almost a decade older than her is no mean feat.

Unparalleled work ethic

Trisha’s work ethic is unimaginable for a girl of 12. “She is on the field or training for eight hours a day. Her day begins at 4.45, from fitness to coaching,” her father informed,

Her school, Sri Chaitanya, is flexible when it comes to her academics. In fact, they enrolled her in the school only because they were willing to exempt her from regular class. She also has a private tutor.

But the main focus of her entire family is cricket. Her father’s ambition is that his daughter should play for India by 2020. Upendran also agrees that Trisha is sure to make it to the national team.

“The way she is practising and going she will make it to the Indian team soon, at what age I can’t say. But there is nothing to stop her,” Sridhar said.

Given Trisha’s current trajectory, it clearly does seem like a matter of when, not if.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

“My body instantly craves chai and samosa”

German expats talk about adapting to India, and the surprising similarities between the two cultures.

The cultural similarities between Germany and India are well known, especially with regards to the language. Linguists believe that Sanskrit and German share the same Indo-Germanic heritage of languages. A quick comparison indeed holds up theory - ratha in Sanskrit (chariot) is rad in German, aksha (axle) in Sanskrit is achse in German and so on. Germans have long held a fascination for Indology and Sanskrit. While Max Müller is still admired for his translation of ancient Indian scriptures, other German intellectuals such as Goethe, Herder and Schlegel were deeply influenced by Kalidasa. His poetry is said to have informed Goethe’s plays, and inspired Schlegel to eventually introduce formal Indology in Germany. Beyond the arts and academia, Indian influences even found their way into German fast food! Indians would recognise the famous German curry powder as a modification of the Indian masala mix. It’s most popular application is the currywurst - fried sausage covered in curried ketchup.

It is no wonder then that German travellers in India find a quite a lot in common between the two cultures, even today. Some, especially those who’ve settled here, even confess to Indian culture growing on them with time. Isabelle, like most travellers, first came to India to explore the country’s rich heritage. She returned the following year as an exchange student, and a couple of years later found herself working for an Indian consultancy firm. When asked what prompted her to stay on, Isabelle said, “I love the market dynamics here, working here is so much fun. Anywhere else would seem boring compared to India.” Having cofounded a company, she eventually realised her entrepreneurial dream here and now resides in Goa with her husband.

Isabelle says there are several aspects of life in India that remind her of home. “How we interact with our everyday life is similar in both Germany and India. Separate house slippers to wear at home, the celebration of food and festivals, the importance of friendship…” She feels Germany and India share the same spirit especially in terms of festivities. “We love food and we love celebrating food. There is an entire countdown to Christmas. Every day there is some dinner or get-together,” much like how Indians excitedly countdown to Navratri or Diwali. Franziska, who was born in India to German parents, adds that both the countries exhibit the same kind of passion for their favourite sport. “In India, they support cricket like anything while in Germany it would be football.”

Having lived in India for almost a decade, Isabelle has also noticed some broad similarities in the way children are brought up in the two countries. “We have a saying in South Germany ‘Schaffe Schaffe Hausle baue’ that loosely translates to ‘work, work, work and build a house’. I found that parents here have a similar outlook…to teach their children to work hard. They feel that they’ve fulfilled their duty only once the children have moved out or gotten married. Also, my mother never let me leave the house without a big breakfast. It’s the same here.” The importance given to the care of the family is one similarity that came up again and again in conversations with all German expats.

While most people wouldn’t draw parallels between German and Indian discipline (or lack thereof), Germans married to Indians have found a way to bridge the gap. Take for example, Ilka, who thinks that the famed differences of discipline between the two cultures actually works to her marital advantage. She sees the difference as Germans being highly planning-oriented; while Indians are more flexible in their approach. Ilka and her husband balance each other out in several ways. She says, like most Germans, she too tends to get stressed when her plans don’t work out, but her husband calms her down.

Consequently, Ilka feels India is “so full of life. The social life here is more happening; people smile at you, bond over food and are much more relaxed.” Isabelle, too, can attest to Indians’ friendliness. When asked about an Indian characteristic that makes her feel most at home, she quickly answers “humour.” “Whether it’s a taxi driver or someone I’m meeting professionally, I’ve learnt that it’s easy to lighten the mood here by just cracking a few jokes. Indians love to laugh,” she adds.

Indeed, these Germans-who-never-left as just diehard Indophiles are more Indian than you’d guess at first, having even developed some classic Indian skills with time. Ilka assures us that her husband can’t bargain as well as she does, and that she can even drape a saree on her own.

Isabelle, meanwhile, feels some amount of Indianness has seeped into her because “whenever its raining, my body instantly craves chai and samosa”.

Like the long-settled German expats in India, the German airline, Lufthansa, too has incorporated some quintessential aspects of Indian culture in its service. Recognising the centuries-old cultural affinity between the two countries, Lufthansa now provides a rich experience of Indian hospitality to all flyers on board its flights to and from India. You can expect a greeting of Namaste by an all-Indian crew, Indian food, and popular Indian in-flight entertainment options. And as the video shows, India’s culture and hospitality have been internalized by Lufthansa to the extent that they are More Indian Than You Think. To experience Lufthansa’s hospitality on your next trip abroad, click here.

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.