When Heather Knight first travelled to India in 2010 and made her international debut in Mumbai, she did not have much of an idea about Indian food. A decade later, Knight is a ‘fan’ of Indian cuisine.
“I love Indian food… the dosas, the daals, tandoori chicken, aloo gosht… I have been here many times and really enjoy the food,” she says.
The England captain has also picked up some Hindi that will come in handy at Royal Challengers Bangalore.
“Some of the girls like Smriti (Mandhana) speak amazing English. But I want to communicate with everyone. I have picked up a bit of Hindi like aap kaise hai (how are you?), chalo chalo come on (come on, let’s go),” she says with a smile.
On the to-do list for this India stint is learning Hindi music.
‘Zor se daalo, zor se…’
After a comfortable victory for Mumbai Indians over Royal Challengers Bangalore, the staff begins to wind down operations at the Brabourne Stadium. While the lights are switched off one by one, one can see a bunch of Mumbai players having fun with their colleagues and another bunch picking former India pacer Zaheer Khan’s brains.
And then out of nowhere, a voice goes:“ Zor se daalo, zor se…”
Following the voice leads you to Jhulan Goswami. The former India captain, who is now the bowling coach and mentor of Mumbai Indians, makes it a point to work with the young bowlers who are not featuring in the playing eleven.
After a clinical win against Delhi Capitals where Mumbai’s bowlers excel, Issy Wong tips her hat off to Jhulan for her way of working with the group.
“The best thing about her is she knows when to say something and when to leave us to it to work it out and that’s how we get better. It’s all good when you have someone to feed you, but learning to pick the spoon up and feed yourself is how we’re going to get better. So we’ve definitely got the right balance but it’s been good to listen to Gozzy,” she says.
RCB struggles with adamant colours, fortunes
“Just wondering if this is now a permanent thing? I’ve washed my hair twice,” RCB’s Ellyse Perry tweets after spending the entire of Holi day covered in colour. While the adamant colours leave quite a few of the international players stumped, some have to deal with lasting impacts.
“I’m not someone who changes my hair cut or style a lot; I’ve had the same hair for the longest time. Holi was really fun but I guess I am stuck with pink hair,” Perry says as she concedes that she has given up trying to wash the colour out.
WATCH – Ellyse Perry: WPL will make India a force to reckon with in international cricket
Colour is not the only thing refusing to leave RCB’s players. The side has not been able to open its account in the WPL so far, losing its first five games — three of those by big margins.
“Losing five games in a row in a brand new competition is tough. But in team sports, at least, you get to go through it all together. You just have to hang in there,” she says after RCB slumps to a 10-wicket loss against UP Warriorz.
To Harris from Harsha
UP Warriorz’s Grace Harris wows spectators and, frankly perhaps even her opponents, with her unbeaten 26-ball 59 against Gujarat Giants that seals a thrilling three-wicket win. The spunky Aussie is as gregarious off the pitch as she is with the bat, winning hearts by publicly declaring her love for burgers.
“I love burgers, although I don’t know where I’ll find one in India,” Harris tells broadcaster Harsha Bhogle after her player-of-the-match-winning performance.
In the next game against Delhi Capitals, Harris is benched to accommodate South African pacer Shabnim Ismail in the line-up. And she doubles up as a dugout cheerleader for the Warriors. But what cheers her up even more is a special delivery from Bhogle – a burger, which was promptly delivered during one of the dugout interviews.
“I love burgers, they’re the complete meal, Harsha,” she says, utterly delighted. The 29-year-old also shares her flavour preferences, in case anyone feels like ordering her one – “Double chicken breast, double cheese and maybe a little bit of bacon, that’s my favourite,” she states.
Wolvaardt the actor
It was quite an entrance for wristy opening bat Laura Wolvaardt in the Gujarat Giants setup.
Brought in as a replacement for an injured Beth Mooney, Wolvaardt’s arrival was announced with a recreation of Shahrukh Khan’s iconic entrance sequence from the Bollywood film Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham.
“They showed me a quick clip of it but I didn’t see the whole movie. I do hear that it’s really famous here. I have to watch it now at some point now that I’ve been an actress,” she says why a wry smile.
Wolvaardt’s textbook cover drive can be matched in perfection perhaps only by Indian legend Mithali Raj, who is incidentally the Protean player’s mentor in the Gujarat camp. When asked if we’ll see a who-did-it-best with the duo, the lanky opener laughed it off by saying she is here to do all the learning and make the best of the opportunity.
“For me, it’s just about learning as much as I can. I am just happy to be here and I’ll take it from there,” she says.