Young Parashavi Chopra They told me a few things about the leg twist. That she will have to risk getting hit and only then will the chances of picking up wickets increase. That it is the land that will win its laurels and not the low economic rate.
In UP Warriorz’s match against Gujarat Giants earlier this week, Ashleigh Gardner and D Hemalatha added 93 to keep the Giants on track for a high score. Both had shown their range of punches against seam and spin, but Warriorz captain Alyssa Healy relied on Chopra to throw to the kill.
Chopra was part of the India team that won the U-19 T20 World Cup in January this year. There he had played Sri Lankan bowls. Vishmi Gunaratne with a googly. The batter had danced to the opposite side, but the ball went over her pads and hit her stumps. But most of her 11 wickets in the tournament came out of broken legs.
Between that World Cup and the WPL, Chopra worked at Google and gained the confidence to use it more often.
Now pitching the seventeenth of the innings against the Giants, Chopra went for the wickets instead of trying to stop the runs. He tossed the first ball to Hemalatha outside. It was the wrong one and Hemalatha missed it, holed out too far. On the first ball of the 19th, her last, she once again flew the googly to lure Gardner out of her crease and stumped her.
It was only Chopra’s second WPL appearance and she already left an impression on those who hadn’t seen her at the World Cup.
Vishal Bhatiahis coach at the Yuvraj Singh Center of Excellence (YSCE) in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of Delhi, attributes the increased use of Chopra to the bowling sessions they had before the WPL.
“Before the WPL, we were working on run bowling, bowling in (various) situations and when to use Google,” Bhatia tells ESPNcricinfo. “She didn’t throw the googly much at the U-19 T20 Women’s World Cup. But she now has confidence in bowling and reading the batsman well.”
“You may need yourself on the power play or death overs. We work on which ball to use, when and how to read the batsman by watching his stance. I told him you shouldn’t play the name but play the batsman: You just happen to play to someone who looks at their reputation and the situation.”
Chopra continued to skate in her youth, as did Yuvraj, but was drawn to cricket by listening to her father, uncle and grandfather speak. She watched the 2017 ODI Women’s World Cup on TV and wanted to don the national colors after watching India’s narrow and heartbreaking defeat to England in the final. Her father, Gaurav, identified her interest and enrolled her in the training center where Bhatia and later JP Nautiyal trained her.
“I never let him compromise on his cricket, but I compromised on his studies,” says Gaurav. “She was very good at her studies. But to achieve a goal or objective in life, you have to focus only on that. If you try to do multiple things, you won’t be as successful.”
At a YSCE summer camp in 2017-18, Bhatia met Chopra, who then wanted to be a fast bowler. But given his slim build, he was encouraged to go bowling. His setup and action had to be adjusted accordingly, but once he was done and able to generate spin, there was no going back.
In the 2019–20 season, she picked up 20 wickets in the Under-19 Women’s One Day Tournament playing for Uttar Pradesh. During the Covid-19 lockdown, her father left no stone unturned and prepared a pitch at home for single-wicket practice with the help of Nautiyal and video call input from Bhatia.
“Her body was very flexible due to stretching, which is part of skating,” says Nautiyal. “Her wrist position is natural to her. We had to work on her lines and lengths. But she picks things up quickly and works very hard for hours together.”
Chopra picked up eight wickets in the Under-19 T20 Trophy in October 2022, and was later selected for the T20 Challengers and the Under-19 Quadrangular series with the West Indies and Sri Lanka. A good show at the U19 T20 World Cup in South Africa led to her being picked up by Warriorz at their base price of INR 10 lakh.
Chopra, the only girl in the family, was fascinated after watching Australia Legspinner videos shane warneof bowling She immediately liked her action and she was upset for a few days after her death last year. But through her steady rise and flashy outings in the WPL, she keeps her legs up.