Talented allrounder Kanika Ahuja said it was a discussion with India batting great Virat Kohli which fired her up as she blasted a rapid 46 to help Royal Challengers Bangalore finally end their losing streak in the Women’s Premier League here.
The 20-year-old from Punjab smashed 46 off 30 balls, the highest score by an uncapped player in the WPL so far, as RCB chased down a tricky 136 to secure a five-wicket win against UP Warriorz on Wednesday.
”Virat sir told us there is nothing about pressure here, it is all about the pleasure,” Ahuja told media during the first press conference of her career.
Kohli did not attend Indian team’s optional training session on Wednesday and instead met the RCB’s squad which is competing in the WPL here in Mumbai. ”He told us to not put ourselves in pressure when we are out there in the middle. He said it is a matter of pleasure that we are getting to play here, not everyone gets the similar opportunity,” said Ahuja, who wants to bat 360 degrees like Suryakumar Yadav.
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The RCB side were left in familiar doldrums when they were reduced to 60 for four, with top players — Smriti Mandhana, Sophie Devine and Ellyse Perry — all back to the pavillion.
Ahuja then took charge of the proceedings and hammered eight fours and a six during her knock, adding 60 runs for the fifth wicket with Richa Ghosh (31) to help her side record their first win in six matches.
”The thing I had in my mind was that come whatever may, we have to win. The target was also low, hence there was time for us to take our time and play accordingly. We waited for loose balls to capitalise,” she said. Ahuja revealed that her mother was the driving force behind her becoming a cricketer, dedicating this knock to her.