Rajeshwari Gayakwad: The Spinner’s Odyssey in Women’s Cricket – From Debut to Comeback


Rajeshwari Gayakwad is an Indian woman cricketer who plays for the Indian national women’s cricket team. Gayakwad, a left-arm orthodox spinner, has consistently been a part of the Indian team since she made her debut in 2014. With her shrewd bowling, she has been essential to many of India’s triumphs over the years. In this article, you’ll examine Gayakwad’s cricket career to date as per Indian cricket team selection news, and its high points.

Early Life and Domestic Career

In Bijapur, Karnataka, Rajeshwari Gayakwad took birth on 3rd of July in a year 1993. She had a strong passion for sports at an early age, and her parents supported her decision to play cricket. At a Karnataka State Cricket Association, she participated in a variety of age-group competitions and got official instruction. 

Gayakwad made her domestic debut in March 2014 when she was selected to play for Karnataka in a T20 match against Odisha. Thanks to her consistent performances in domestic cricket, she earned a place in the India Blue team for the 2014-15 Senior Women’s Challenger Trophy. She delivered an impressive bowling spell of 4/15 in the final against India Red to help her team lift the trophy.

International Debut

The breakthrough domestic season helped Gayakwad earn a place in the Indian squad for the 2014 Women’s World T20 hosted in Bangladesh. She made her T20I debut against Pakistan Women on 31 March 2014. Though she went wicketless in her first match, the selectors persisted with her for the 2014 Women’s World T20 thanks to her domestic record. 

Gayakwad’s big moment came when she was given the new ball against defending champions Australia Women in India’s opening match of the tournament. She responded by picking up the prized wicket of Australian opener Meg Lanning, finishing with excellent figures of 2/13 in 4 overs. She continued her good form throughout India’s campaign, picking up 7 wickets from 5 matches at an economy rate of 5.04. Her performances helped India reach the semifinals of the World T20.

Consistent Performer 2014-2018

After the encouraging start to her international career, Gayakwad became a regular member of India’s ODI and T20I squads over the next few years. She was instrumental in many of India’s wins, often breaking crucial partnerships with her crafty spin bowling. 

Some highlights of Gayakwad’s performances from 2014-2018:

– 3/16 against Sri Lanka at the 2014 Women’s World T20 

– 2/11 against West Indies at the 2016 Women’s World T20

– 4/9 against Sri Lanka in the 2017 Women’s Quadrangular Series 

– 2/18 against South Africa in the 2017 Women’s Quadrangular Series Final

– 2/23 against Australia in the 2018 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup

With 50 wickets in 50 Twenty20Is as well as 24 wickets in 22 ODIs, Gayakwad had a successful 2014–2018. She made a name for herself as the best spinner in India and among the best bowlers in women’s cricket.

ICC Women’s World T20 2018 Campaign 

The 2018 ICC Women’s World T20 held in the West Indies marked the peak of Gayakwad’s prowess as a spinner. She was India’s joint-highest wicket-taker with 8 scalps from 6 matches at an excellent average of 7.87. 

Gayakwad’s performances at the World T20 included:

– 2/23 against Australia 

– 1/16 against Pakistan

– 1/18 against Ireland 

– 2/19 against Australia in the semifinal

Even though India lost the semifinal, Gayakwad emerged as one of the top performers at the tournament, reinforcing her value to the Indian team. She was named in the ‘Team of the Tournament’ by the ICC along with teammates Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur.

Battling Injury and Loss of Form

The 2018 World T20 would prove to be the peak of Gayakwad’s international career so far. A series of injuries kept her out of the Indian team through 2019 which also affected her form and consistency. 

She has issues with her health as well as bowling skill when she made a comeback to international cricket in 2020. In T20I games versus South Africa and England, Gayakwad struggled to acquire wickets and gave away runs. As a result, she was demoted from India’s starting spinner position. 

Gayakwad’s capability to play in a year 2020–21 was significantly impacted by the COVID–19 pandemic. In the few opportunities she had to play at home against South Africa in 2021, she did not meaningfully contribute.  Gayakwad has only competed in 3 WODIs as well as 5 WT20Is since the start of 2020, a reflection of her challenges to establish a routine and keep her spot on the team.

Comeback in 2022

Injuries as well as the lack of form prevented Rajeshwari Gayakwad from playing domestic along wirth international cricket between 2019 and 2021, but in 2022 she made a remarkable comeback. As the leading wicket-taker for Karnataka in the Senior Women’s Twenty20 Trophy, she enjoyed a strong start to the domestic season. She captured 14 wickets in seven games, averaging an amazing 7.57. In addition, she scored against Baroda with a bowling avg of 4/9.

Due to her success in the local T20 league, where she scored wickets, Gayakwad was called up to the Indian Twenty20I squad for the home series against Sri Lanka in June 2022.  This was her chance to retake the frontline spinner role for India after losing it in 2020 due to poor play and injury. In the three Twenty20 Internationals she played against Sri Lanka, Gayakwad made it very evident that she had regained her bowling rhythm. By getting three key wickets at a 4.75 economy rate, she restricted the Lankan batting order. She demonstrated her value as a wicket-taking spin option by helping India defeat Sri Lanka 3-0.


As per Indian women’s cricket team news, Rajeshwari Gayakwad has been among India’s most effective spinners ever since she made her debut in women’s cricket in 2014. For India to go to the quarterfinals of the women’s Twenty20 World Cups in 2016 and 2018, she was crucial. After 2018, her career graph was impeded by a loss of fitness and form, but her recent return indicates a promising turn around. If she can stay consistent, Gayakwad, who is 29 years old, still has her finest years ahead of her. Next year’s Twenty20 World Cup will be held, as well as India will be counting on their seasoned spinner to rekindle her magic.

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