I’ve read that you watch
‘Breakfast with Champions’ a lot, on repeat. – Yeah.. A lot..
– Mostly. I do watch. I’m not joking. Favorite episode? The one with Virat. – He’s also fun loving.
– Yes. Few days ago, we were watching an IPL match. As soon as a punjabi song
was played in the stadium he started dancing. I told my friend but she didn’t see. He was moving his shoulders. I told her that he is dancing. She was still clueless. I said, “You won’t notice”.
But I did notice that he was dancing. Who is the worst dancer in the team? It’s Jhulan Goswami. I am sorry, Do you remember when was the time you became serious
and passionate about cricket? I started playing cricket
and the girls’ team was formed in Moga. Our principal was Kamal Singh Sodhi. Sir used to go on walks. He used to see me with the boys,
playing some sport. He came to me and asked. “What do you want to play?
Cricket or football or volleyball?” – “You’re always playing a different sport.”
– Tell me what’s your problem. I told him that I want to play cricket. We would see a lot of cricket on TV. And all my idols were cricketers. I’ve followed Virender Sehwag
since childhood. I think the main reason is that we didn’t see
any other sport other than cricket. Then sir said that if I want to play cricket
we’ll form a girls team. Then came a moment in life
where I wondered if girls played cricket. – I had never seen a girl play.
– Correct. I asked sir if he is sure
that girls played cricket. He said that they do.
And asked me to join school. I was done with my 10th grade exams
and had a break of three months – the fun period in a student’s life.
– Right. Sadly, I had to go
to school from the next day. I asked him if I could join after three months
as it was my time to enjoy then. I’ll join school after three months. – Results are yet to be announced.
– Yeah, I’m a bit busy now. He asked me if I am serious about it. I said yes. He asked me to call my dad. The field was in front of my house.
Dad used to watch us play, from the terrace. I waved to dad asking him to meet sir. He is really interested and it’s the first time
a coach is asking me to play cricket. Dad came. I don’t know what they discussed.
They decided in the next 15 minutes. The next day I had my uniform.
I had to go to school. My friends would tease me saying that they would play all day
while I attended school. Back then, I felt that I want to play. I wanted to play for India.
I didn’t know how to or with whom to play. When I used to play with boys,
I’d tell them that I want to play for India. So they were like where do you want to play? – With whom will you play?
– Where? Where will you play? It was my dream to play. What is the tattoo that you have over here? – Mom.
– Mom? Nice. – What about these stars? Is it a design or..
– It’s design. Actually it’s a design but when mom saw,
she asked me if it’s for her. – Didn’t you say yes to that?
– I did say yes. Mothers usually don’t believe that you have done something good. They always suspect us. My mom is the opposite. – Everything about her is good?
– Everything. She is always proud whenever
I do something for her. Maybe she has no expectations. So she is happy when something good happens. I didn’t want a tattoo.
My friend got it done. When I saw this tattoo there,
I changed my mind. I wanted that tattoo. It wasn’t allowed at home. I hid it from them for almost
a year and a half. At home, I would hide it with a band. I used to tell my parents
that my wrist is hurting. One day, I forgot to wear the band
while going to have breakfast. Mom asked me what’s on my hand. I said it’ll fade away by evening. Mom saw it three to four times and
asked why is it still on my hand. It’s been three days, why won’t it fade? I told her that it’s permanent
and it will never fade. Then she said that my dad won’t allow it. One day, friends were at my home.
Both mom and dad were also at home. I was drinking water. My friend shouted from his place
asking what’s on my hand. The ones looking away also started noticing. I got scared. I thought dad would scold me
in front of all my friends. But dad didn’t react. I asked mom if he is fine. She said that she had already informed
him and everything is okay. I asked her if she handled it,
to which she said yes and also warned me. It was because of dad
that I started playing sports. He always.. – He is a sportsperson?
– Yes, he is. But he never expected us
to excel in academics. He just asked us to clear the exams.
He supported us with our dreams. Wow, that’s nice! Very few parents say that. He knew that my interest lies in sports. He never stopped me from playing.
He asked me to study as much as possible. He told me to play sports with all my heart. But he didn’t want any complaints. – Did he get any?
– Sometimes, he did get. What was it about? Once I hit a guy with a bat. We were playing and a guy was disturbing us. He came and disrupted the game in between. We asked him not to disturb us,
as we weren’t disturbing him either. He didn’t pay heed, then suddenly
I got angry and I hit him. After hitting him I realized,
he has a lot of people in his gang. We’re just 8-9 people,
there are 20-25 of them. I called my brother
to help us out of the situation. He handled everything. Did this incident happen
before cutting your hair or after it? After cutting my hair. You have to keep messing all the time. – I had to do it…
– You want to rile them up. There should be something interesting. How did you hide that? How could’ve I hidden that? So… Wearing the helmet
at home and eating, with the visor up. – I couldn’t hide it. I was scolded badly.
– Yeah. Dad didn’t speak to me for three months. Mom said she can’t convince dad unlike all the other times
and that I’ll have to handle it myself. I told her that I find it difficult
to manage long hair while playing. I stay in a hostel
where there is no water to bathe. Mom asked, “Do you stay alone?
What about the others?” I somehow convinced dad that none of
the female cricketers have long hair. There’s no player who has long hair. I showed him photos of
all the female sportspersons. He later agreed, having no other option.
After three months when we started speaking, he asked me not to cut my hair ever again.
And I said okay. He was like, “Why aren’t they growing?” I managed it with much difficulty. – I don’t know how they cut it.
– My hair won’t grow. It’s not allowed in Punjabi families to stick a celebrity’s or anybody else’s poster
on the wall. We had gone to a fair. I picked Sehwag’s poster from there. I had saved money to buy the poster. I showed it to mom.
She got scared looking at the poster. – She freaked out.
– That you are messing up again. She started asking about the poster.
I told her I want to stick it in my room. I asked her to convince dad somehow. Mom said we can’t stick anyone’s photo near
the Holy photo. I said I will stick Sehwag’s poster
below the Holy photo but do let me stick it. She told me to ask dad.
She didn’t want to get involved in that. For months, it was in my room. Every night, I would open the poster,
greet Sehwag and keep it back again. So, one day, when dad was in office, I stuck it on the wall
to know what his reaction would be. What’s the worst that could happen?
I might’ve to take it back. Dad came home.
He started laughing as he saw this. – Wow! Nice.
– He asked me what happened. I pleaded with him. He agreed. I looked at mom and she said, “It’s easy.
I wonder why you worry so much.” You aren’t fond of breakfast, right? You didn’t have breakfast – before the semi-finals either.
– No. – That day…
– You hit 171 runs because you were hungry. – I was.
– You’d have eaten the bowler alive! Actually that’s the case. When something good is going to happen,
you get a feeling. Few days before the match,
my teammates and I had gone for a movie. Around that time, I got a feeling that I should only speak positive.
Not to bring negativity at all. I started saying that we will win. – Semi-finals.
– And the problem.. I said semi-finals, and not finals. – Oh no.
– That was the problem. – I had suffered a shoulder injury back then.
– Yes. Taping used to take
almost one and half hours. The physio was taping a girl and was either lost or excited, only she knows. When I was padding up,
I was not watching the match. I was revisiting my childhood memories.
How I started playing and all of that. How we reached here…
That was running through my mind. When I went to bat, I got a good start. I was batting along with Mithali. I had reached 35 runs
when I said that I’ll start hitting big. She looked at me and asked me to wait. “There’s enough time.” I had to take a risk. I kept repeating that I want to hit a six. In between, she lost her wicket. And it took time for me to process that. As soon as Deepti started batting,
I thought, let’s see what happens. I wanted to go with the flow. I felt like.. I don’t know if you play on
a playstation or not. – No.
– You don’t? – I got to know from Smriti that you play.
– A lot. While playing on a playstation,
once your hands are set with the game, the rhythm that you achieve
can be stopped by none. I felt the same that day. I was going with the flow. So that day, I think that match… Might have broken the record
of maximum number of viewers. As your score kept increasing,
like you got to 50 and the hits. I was going through social media and
saw that the viewers were increasing. They were cheering. I get
goosebumps when I speak about it. There was so much excitement
and a feeling of pride… That people are also watching
our women play. Did you feel that appreciation in England? Or you didn’t get to know? We did get to know because
there was a lot of Indian media present as our team was playing
the World Cup final. It was clear from their reaction
that the world is awake. They now know that
girls too know how to play cricket. At that time, we concentrated
on keeping ourselves calm and relaxed. But I was very nervous before the finals. I was shivering. I didn’t follow any of the events
that happened after that. It was very stressful. So in the finals, it’s obvious,
you might have faced a lot of disappointment. – Many might’ve cried the dressing room.
– Yes, a lot. No one knew what to do. If it wasn’t a close game,
it would have been a different case. It was so close. The match had become
one-sided when Poonam and I were batting. When the wickets kept falling, we didn’t know how to handle the situation how to console the players
and ask them to relax. It was the first time we were playing
in a packed stadium. We were sad that we lost
the game which we’d almost won. What’ll happen after returning? Earlier, I’ve followed men’s cricket. You know the situation in India
when they lose. – Yes.
– They get thrashed. So, we were hoping that people don’t comment that we lost a match which we could’ve won. But we were happy that people understood. As a team we might have lost the world cup but women’s cricket team which was
earlier missing in India… I mean, whenever a boy is born,
they want him to become a cricketer. Girls are not seen that way that they should be made
cricketers or sportswomen. So we’ve at least started that trend. Now, we are getting good
support from everyone. Many girls are coming in,
parents are supporting too. If this continues, we can build a good team – that performs well.
– Yes. But, before that,
there was no cricket culture. Looking at this, I am sure a lot of
parents come and say to you – that their daughter is inspired by you.
– Yes. After the match.. Even in Moga, my coach opened a lot of academies because of me. A lot of academies have been opened
where girls practice. If we had won, maybe nothing
would’ve happened. – The trophy would be lying in the office.
– Yeah. We didn’t win the trophy, but what we gained is bigger than the trophy. You are in the team of music and dance also. – Yes.
– Right? I am. I participate in everything. Similar to mood swings. – Okay.
– It depends on the mood. If I want to sit with the quiet ones, I get a hold of them. If I am in a mood to dance, I dance. So I keep swinging. That’s a very good quality of the captain.
No one will feel neglected. And they get attention from the captain. I don’t think all feel the same. There are some who can be dealt with
only in the ground and not outside. – Don’t ask this?
– Don’t ask this. There are some,
with whom you can enjoy a lot. Then there are a few with whom
you can enjoy only in the ground. Yes. – Okay.
– I’m not asking you this. – But others will definitely ask you.
– Yes, that’s true. You had said that… – …you aren’t at talking terms with a few.
– Right. Who are they? They know it. Isn’t it common?
I mean it’s a big team. You guys.. What is more important
is how you work as a team. Whether we agree or not, doesn’t matter. – It is not ugly catfight.
– No. – It’s fine until that doesn’t happen.
– Yes. Matters haven’t reached that stage. So, in the team,
Smriti and you are very close. Yes, we are close friends. Because our thoughts are alike. – Yeah.
– She gets to know what I want. – Yeah. Smriti is your playstation buddy.
– Yes. With who else do you play or compete? Just us. Others don’t
even know how to hold it. It looks so funny. I say you put the controller away,
you won’t be able to do it. I’ve played a lot
on a playstation with Chahal. I’ve played like crazy. Don’t ask. – He’s smart with video games.
– Indeed he is. Then there is Vijay Shankar.
When we were together in NCA we had a lot of fun. Just after the practice,
we used to start playing. One day, we sat for nine hours straight. Our eyes swelled up.
I couldn’t see anything Our physio used to call in the evening
and enquire about the session. She used to hear others
shouting while playing. She would ask about it. I would tell her that we are playing
and that I’ll call back. I hung up. She called again at night.
We were still playing. I told her that
we were playing from a long time. She scolded us badly. ‘Have you gone there to heal
your shoulders or to spoil your eyes?’ – You and Smriti have played in Australia.
– Yes. Right? You were the first Indian
to play in Australia. – Right?
– First, I signed up. We played together. – Yeah..
– She might have signed the deal later. When you signed the deal, did you think that you would play in Australia? – Did you think?
– We were in England when it started. But BCCI didn’t give the permission. To play in foreign leagues. Smriti and I were just wondering
about the Big Bash league. After three to four months,
we both got an offer for it. We were discussing. – That we should have taken more names.
– Yeah. Positive. Didn’t you learn to be positive
after the semi-final? I should have taken a few more names. I had offers from three to four teams. Few had called up. I selected Sydney because
they were champions in that season. And that my sister stays there. So I need not worry about my meals. I’ll get food, time to time. – It feels like family when I’m with them.
– That’s very important. For how long can I stay amidst
and speak with the foreigners? There should be someone
to speak in Punjabi with. – There should be someone to understand you.
– Yeah. Your habit of hitting long shots of sixes.
Which is a good habit. People ask me the secret behind that power. I’ve seen dad playing since childhood.
He used to have a similar batting form. He never played defensive. He used to hit a lot of sixes. So even my mind is set like that. Everyone asks the same question. How do I say that I’m used
to seeing sixes from the past 20 years? – “The neck doesn’t allow.”
– Yeah. But I’ve heard that because
of these long shots there was some doubt and
that the bat was tested. Is it true? Or was it a rumor? Actually.. Even recently.. My T20 innings routine is known to people. Once I get into
the flow of the match, I start hitting sixes. My team mates started teasing saying ‘Everyone knows your game plan’. – Plan is out.
– I said let’s see. I continued for a few matches.
Then I wanted to change the strategy. I thought of playing an attacking
game from the very first ball. I wasn’t scared of the consequences. I hit the first ball. That was a four. No one noticed it. But when I hit a six. The umpire stood up. They have this thing for checking the bat. He stood in front of me
and I asked him what’s wrong. He checked my bat. It was a just miss.
The equipment should not touch the bat. It shouldn’t get stuck. It got cleared. I was happy
that my magic bat wasn’t snatched. So, it’s normal.
They check the bat before the match. It feels good, right?
Superheroes face such problems. So does Harman. “How did you get the power? Let’s check.” This video should have more views
than Smriti’s episode. Please like and share. And subscribe to Oaktree sports for
more episodes of ‘Breakfast with Champions’. – Want to beat Smriti?
– Of course. We will.