Home Athletes Biographies Deepti Sharma Biography: Story of India’s Rising All-Rounder Wizard

Deepti Sharma Biography: Story of India’s Rising All-Rounder Wizard

Deepti Sharma is an Indian all-rounder from Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh. She was spotted by India’s national women’s team selector, Hemlata Kala, and initially coached by her elder brother, Sumit Sharma. She is the second-highest runs (in a single inning) in Women’s cricket with the 188 runs she scored against Sri Lanka. In that match, she also set another record with her partner, Punam Raut, for the highest partnership in either the men’s or the women’s cricket, as they staged a 320-run stand. Moreover, Deepti is the youngest Indian in women’s cricket to scalp five or more wickets in an ODI.

Details
Full Name
Deepti Sharma
Age
22 years
Sport Category
Cricket
Date of Birth
24 August 1997
Hometown
Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Batting Style
Left-handed
Bowling Style
Right-arm off break
Teams Played for
Indian national Women, Bengal Women

Deepti Sharma Biography

Early Days

Deepti Sharma was born in the Uttar Pradesh’s town of Saharanpur. When she was born, she had seven siblings. Deepti’s father, Bhagwan Sharma, was a chief booking supervisor at the Indian Railways.

Deepti’s first acquaintance with cricket by her elder brother, Sumit Sharma. Sumit started playing cricket from an early age. He was so passionate about the sport that he would go on to represent his native state in the Nayudu Trophy.

Eventually, Sumit’s passion started to rub off on Deepti. Deepti was one of the happiest people she saw his new cricket kit. She was not only excited but also proud of the fact that Sumit played cricket. Deepti would plead to her father to tell Sumit to accompany him while he goes to train,

At the age of 9-years, Deepti had accompanied Sumit on one of his net practices. Everything was to change at the Eklavya Sports Stadium, where the practices would happen. As Sharma was engrossingly watching her brother play it out on the field, at one point the ball rolled towards her.

Deepti, unwittingly, threw the ball back towards the bowler. Instead, the spheroid zoomed and smashed into the stumps. It was a commendable effort and the players, including Sumit, applauded in appreciation.

A senior coach, Hemlata Kala, who was incidentally present at the stadium, watched all this happens in silence. “Who is that little boy?” she asked Sumit. Sumit replied saying that the girl with the “boy-cut hairdo” was his sister, and she had never stepped onto the cricket field in her life. Kala, who was a national selector at that time, said, “Let her play. This kid will represent India one day.” Years later, her prophecy turned out to be true.

Deepti Sharma Career

Soon Deepti started her formal training under Sumit. However, she barely needed any tutoring in the basics of the game, her brother said. “Deepti is naturally right-handed, but she settled into a left-hander’s grip on her own, without any help from me,” he says. “Even with bowling, medium-pace seemed to be her natural choice.” Yes, medium-pace!

Deepti started as a medium-pacer before shifting to off-spin. For the next two years, Sharma attended the state U 19 team trials, but she was rebuffed both the times as she was too young. 

However, Hemlata then took Deepti under her wing. Hema di, as Deepti called her, would take her to Delhi and Allahabad. Deepti would get a few overs to bat in the nets or watch intrasquad matches in the Railways camp. During her attempt for the U19 Uttar Pradesh team, Deepti scored 65 runs and picked three wickets and made it to the team in 2010. 

Domestic

For the next two years, Deepti trained hard and played well for the U 19 UP side. However, it was a 114 against the Vidharbha women in Kanpur that allowed her to break in the senior team. This time, she did not have to wait long. The then UPCA co-selector made sure she was drafted into the senior team at just 15. 

Rita Dey, who was then the BCCI national selector (central) and the UPCA chairperson of the women’s selection committee, says that along with Deepti’s prolific returns with the bat and ball, “the young girl’s boundless enthusiasm for the game” strengthened her case for a spot in the senior team.

It was Dey who first felt that medium pace did not compliment Deepti’s strength with the bat. Kala and Rana seconded it. “This could come in the way to her selection in the national side. She is not among the tallest girls around, and her natural action seemed more suited to spin.” And soon Deepti started to spin the ball. 

Her solid performances with the Uttar Pradesh in the domestic seasons ensure she called her a deserved callup for India A. In 2014, Deepti scored an unbeaten 53 for India A and earned her maiden National team call up. 

Deepti’s impressive performances in the 2015-16 season earned her the Best Women cricketer (Junior). However, she decided to skip the award ceremony, as she wanted to play with her idol Mithali Raj.

“Mithali di and I were due to play a game for the Central Zone the next day. Playing for India alongside Mithali di, that was my dream.” Incidentally, Mithali Raj had also won the Best Women Cricketer (Senior Award) and had decided to skip the event.

Off to Bengal under the wings of Jhulan Goswami 

In November 2017, Deepti signed for the West Bengal team for the next senior women’s domestic season. After getting a no-objection certificate from the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association, Deepti was linked to Railways and Baroda. However, Bengal joined in the offers and walked away with the best all-rounders the country has seen. 

Indian fast balling sensation Jhulan Goswami was the reason why she took up the Bengal jersey. “I’m happy I’ll be spending this domestic season Jhulu di. My job is to work hard and grow as a player, so whichever side offers me the opportunity to do so, I’m willing to work with them. In this case, Jhulu di’s presence was a big factor – bigger than anything else.”

Deepti Sharma KreedOn
(Credit: womencriczone)

In the very first season, Deepti helped Bengal to finish as runners-up in the plate group. She was among the top performers with both the bat and ball, as Bengal earned promotion, before going on the win the 50-over competition in 2018-19. With 487 runs and 22 wickets, Deepti finished as the highest run-scorer and joined the second-highest wicket-taker in the competition. 

Quick Learner

One of the reasons why she excelled at Bengal was the cultural adjustment. Within a season, Deepti had learned and was communicating with her teammates in Bangla. “Nisha Maji (her teammate) is my Bangla teacher. I have learnt from her. She teaches well. I have only learnt good things. I don’t even listen to any bad thing that is said.” 

“It is important to adapt to the culture you go into. The faster you get accustomed, the better it is, and it is completely upon you. The support staff here, the teammates have played a big role in ensuring that we have a good atmosphere, which meant that it did not take much time for me to gel. Not to forget the constant support from Jhulu di, and also Mithu (Mukherjee) ma’am, who was our selector last year. It gives good motivation to perform well,” Deepti said in an interview with Women’s CricZone

Jhulan Goswami has impacted her game as well. Returning after the World T20 Championships, Deepti had to readjust to the fifty over-format for Bengal in the 2018-19 season. “I have, of course, carried the confidence from the World T20 in Windies, but it was a different format. In 50-over matches, you have to stay at the crease, so the mindset was different. The plan was to read the pitch and see how it is behaving initially before playing my shots.”

In one of the domestic matches, Deepti played at a strike rate of 66.07. This shocked a lot of viewers. After the match, she revealed that it was the specific role the team had given her. I was not concerned at all. She is a quality cricket player and only batter in our team who could play till 50 overs. I told her to stay there and play all 300 balls,” Goswami said. 

“She is not batting regularly in the top-order in the Indian team. I told her, here you do your batting practice, and put up some good examples for other girls on how to play long, take responsibility, and build partnerships. She responded well. Every game, she tried to graft her innings. Whenever needed, she played her shots. It’s because of her contribution in every match that we won the title.”

Deepti scored two hundred in the competition. She rates her unbeaten 106 against Baroda as the most memorable one because as she fulfilled her role of playing complete 50 overs. 

ODI

Deepti Sharma made her ODI International debut in 2014 against South Africa in Bengaluru. The match was part of the ICC Women’s Championship. Deepti had a forgetful first inning. 

She had come in as a No. Three and got run-out after scoring just one run by T Chetty. A 17-year-old Sharma, however, did the talking with her ball in the second innings. She took two crucial wickets of captain Mignon Preez and Nadine Moodley, who had built a solid partnership, scoring 46 and 54 respectively in the process.

Although India lost the match by four wickets, it was a big statement from the youngster to dismiss two well-set batswomen. She ended with a figure of 2/35 in an impressive debut. Over the years that followed, she became an essential part of the team and contributed with both the bat and the ball. 

In her third ODI itself, she had taken six wickets for 20 runs against Sri Lanka, becoming the youngest Indian Women cricketer to cross the 5-wicket mark. In February 2017, Deepti scored her first half-century. 

Opening the innings with Mona Meshram, Deepti went on the score 54 runs in 96 balls as India won by a massive 114 runs against Sri Lanka in the first Women’s World Cup Qualifier match. In the next match, she scored 89 against Ireland, before scoring 29* versus Pakistan, and 71 against South Africa. 

Sharma finished with 253 runs in 6 matches, the highest run-scorer of the tournament. With the ball, she picked just four wickets. However, Deepti bowled 12 maiden overs, and with an impressive economy rate of 2.67. 

The Historic 320-run Partnership with Punam Raut

The date was 15 May 2017. The cricketing nation’s gaze was fixated on the richest cricketing league, IPL’s qualifiers, history was being created in a foreign land. Soon, word spread and in no time, Twitter was trending with the topic.

Punam Raut and Deepti Sharma KreedOn
(Credit: scroll.in)

Deepti Sharma and Punam Raut had just created history by scoring a record-breaking 320-run partnership in under 45 overs – the most by any cricket pair, both men or women. Deepti had scored the highest score of 188-runs in that match in South Africa as the pair slaughtered any bowler that came their way.

Sharma hit an incredible 27 fours, enough to complete a century, in her blaster innings and needed just 160 balls to score 188. However, neither of the two knew about their feat until they read about the record in a Whatsapp group in a cooling session post-match.

ICC Women’s World Cup 2017

Deepti had one of her best performances in the ICC Women’s World Cup in 2017, where she was one of the best all-rounders in the competition. She started the competition with the best bowling figures of 3/47 in India’s thumping win over England.

She backed it up by claiming the first and the last wicket in another win against West Indies. In the third match against Pakistan, she posted 28 runs before again clinching two wickets and helping India register a comfortable win over their arch-rivals. 

Although she was impressive throughout the group stage, her best performance was to come in the final stages of the competition. In the semifinals against Australia, Sharma scored 25 runs and scalped three wickets for 59 runs as they won the match by 36 runs.

T20 Career

Deepti Sharma T20 KreedOn
(Credit: msn.com)

On her T20 debut that came two years later against Australia in 2016, she finished with figures of 1/19 at an economy rate of 4.75 runs. In T20Is, Sharma has been a force to reckon with the ball. At the start of her T20I career with India, Sharma was more as a bowler than batswoman.  And Deepti regularly chipped in with wickets. 

However, she contributed runs whenever she was moved up the order. In the second T20I of the West Indies women’s tour of India, Deepti was sent at number 3 and scored a quick 24 in 22 balls. However, after she lost her wicket, the Indian batting order fell for 106 against WI’s 132.

In November 2019, Deepti picked the wickets of Chedean Nation, Natasha McLean, Chinelle Henry and Shenta Grimmond as India dismissed WI women for 107 at Gros Islet. 

ICC Women’s T20 World Cup

Deepti was named in the squad which was to represent Indian Women at the 2018 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. On her debut in the competition, she conceded 33 runs and took two catches in the field as India powered NZ.

 Her first shining moment in the T20 WC came against Ireland. After conceding 0/26 against Pakistan in the second group game, Deepti returned with 2 wickets against the Irish women while conceding only 15 runs. With the bat, she contributed 11*.

In the final group game against Australia, Deepti picked 2 more wickets and scored 8 runs as India beat eventual winners to qualify for the semis. In the semis against England, Deepti finished with 1/24 and scored 7 runs. However, it was not enough to stop English women from running over the Women in Blue. 

BCCI named Deepti Sharma in the 15-member squad for the Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia. In the first game, a repeat of the final group game in 2018, India beat Australia by 15 runs. Deepti played an unbeaten inning of 49 before Poonam Yadav’s brilliance ensured the champions were bowled for 115. 

Test

Deepti is yet to represent India in the test format. 

Playing style

Deepti Sharma is a rising all-rounder and one of the best in the business. A useful spinner, Deepti is especially noted for her high-level of maturity, which is ironic considering she is the youngest in the national squad. She plays an aggressive brand of batting and is a pretty vital cog at No. 3 in India’s batting order.

Deepti Sharma Family

Deepti Sharma was born on 24 August 1997 to Bhagwan Sharma and Sushila Sharma in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Bhagwan Sharma was a chief booking supervisor at the Indian Railways. She had seven siblings, of which her elder brother, Sumit Sharma, went on to be her first coach.

Both Deepti and her brother used the practice 8 to 9 hours a  day for almost a decade. Sumit, a U22 state, made a few of his sacrifices to ensure his sister played the sport. 

In 2010, Deepti started playing for UP under 19 teams, while her brother pursued  MBA studies and later joined a company in Ghaziabad. However, Deepti soon lost her edge, and her performance went down. 

To ensure she returns to form, Sumit quit his job within eight months of joining; and persuaded his parents to allow him to train her. “We both worked hard for the next two years, and later she was selected in the Indian team,” he said. Rita Dey, Deepti’s coach Vipin Awasthi and Sumit played a pivotal role in shaping Deepti’s early career. 

Even the master blaster, whose brother played a crucial role in setting up Sachin’s meeting with Ramakant Achrekar, acknowledged Sumit’s contribution. “Deepti Sharma’s journey on the road to cricket greatness began early. Her brother’s support helped her achieve her goal.”

Deepti Sharma Awards

  • 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup Runner-Up
  • Jagmohan Dalmiya Award
  • Elixir’s Cricketer Award of the year

Deepti Sharma Unknown Facts

  • Deepti Sharma’s brother used to play for UP U 19 and U 22 teams. It was his passion that rubbed off on her. 
  • She started her career as a medium-pacer before changing to spin. 
  • Deepti’s favourite player is Suresh Raina and loves to emulate his inside out lofted shot. 
  • She loves listening to songs and likes to listen to Arijit Singh’s voice. Madhuri Dixit is her favourite actress.
  • In domestic cricket, Deepti has played from Uttar Pradesh as well as Bengal. She has also played for Velocity in the Women’s T20 Challenge and Western Storm in the Kia Super League.
  • Deepti Sharma is the youngest member in the family of 9. 
  • Deepti Sharma is categorised as a grade B player according to BCCI’s latest central contract system of the BCCI. As a result, she earns Rs 30 lakhs per annum for featuring in the Indian national side.

Deepti Sharma Social Media

Manan Dharamshi
I usually describe myself with three 'F's, i.e, Food, Football and Films. Born and Brought up in Bangalore since the mid-1990s, I have always had a huge interest in playing football, cricket and watching other sports. People who know me always tell I bleed football. Sports, and Football, in particular, has helped me through hard times and helped me to shape my view on the world. And that is one of the reasons why I want to serve as a Sports Journalist.

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