J - Tell us your early memories of this sport?

My earliest memories of watching cricket are hot summer days in our childhood home, sitting inside with my three brothers watching Australia play. Personally, I would always be waiting to watch Shane Warne bowl. Man, he was good. My mum raised me and my three brothers and she could never afford to take us to a live cricket match but we spent many, many days watching at home and playing gully cricket in the drink, lunch or innings’ breaks. My eldest brother made all the rules. And he used to convince us to play our own ‘Test matches’ over five days - which I wasn’t always too fond of, to be honest, because we would just stand in the sun in the backyard all day long. No one kept score properly. No one counted the number of overs we bowled in a day. But looking back they are some of my favourite childhood memories. One of the boys would mow a strip of grass for us to use as a cricket pitch. If we were playing with a tennis ball we would tape up half of it and put a coin in there for some extra swing. We had all these wild rules to score 4s and 6s. It was basically a game of trying not to hit the ball into the neighbour’s yard (because you know, 6 and out). We also used to have this Blue Cattle Dog who was the best fielder haha.

I also think back on those days and think about how many windows we smashed. Sometimes they would just be boarded up for weeks until mum could save the money to fix them. Oops. Sorry, mum.

J - Which cricketer's story inspires you the most?

I love Jasprit Bumrah’s story. His mum raised him alone (kind of like my family). The stories of him bowling in the hallway trying not to wake her up are inspiring. How he used to wear the same shirt and pair of shoes day after day after day because they couldn’t afford to buy more. His story resonates with me and he seems like such a top bloke.
I also really enjoy watching his unorthodox bowling style. It’s very unique. I don’t know whether it was borne out of the way he practised bowling growing up (you know, in the hallway) or not but it is a joy to watch.

J - How has your experience been so far, as a sports journalist?

I actually started as a news journalist years ago and now do a bit of both. It’s been a bit of a hard trot as a woman at times I won’t lie. Sport is a very ‘blokey’ field. But I am so stoked to see it evolving and being inclusive of more women.

J - What advice would you like to give to someone who is also in this field?

Well, I can only speak for being in Australia, but if it is your passion then you have to stick with it. Although parts of media are shrinking with the growth of social media, there will always be a huge place for live sport. So, stick with it! And as a piece of life advice, just always be yourself. You will know from my Twitter that yes I am a journalist, but I like to have fun on social media because that is who I am in real life. A bit of a joker. Serious when it counts of course and I have a good work ethic... but I am still being me.

J - You mentioned a lot about who your favourite player from India is through your tweets, what is that one thing about Kohli you like the most?

I just think his personality resonates with a lot of people in Australia. He is an absolute entertainer. He is aggressive on the field, yet as soon as he is off it, he is so gracious and humble. I like watching his post-match interviews because he is always so level-headed and accepting of whatever the outcome of the match. But also, have you seen his cover drive?

J - So, you are very popular nowadays on Indian Cricket Twitter, how do you feel about this?

Indian Cricket Twitter is honestly the most fun part of social media. The memes are incredible - everyone seems to have a great sense of humour. Also, I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, but the Indian people are constantly surprising me with their knowledge of cricket. They’re very intelligent. I have learnt a lot from them. We can also mostly blame them for my addiction to Indian films.

J - What do you like about this Indian Cricket Team the most?

The ‘never quit’ attitude. I also like that there is a bit of aggression. We saw it in Dada and now Kohli. I guess years ago the Indian team, from an Australian perspective, was seen as a bit timid and a bit quiet. Australia just always assumed they were going to win. Now India has so much swagger and so much depth to their team. Australia knows it is always a contest against India. New India. What’s not to love? There is a documentary called 2 Nations, 1 Obsession and I highly recommend you watch it if you haven't. It details the evolution of the rivalry. Look it up.

J - Your thoughts on the Australia-India rivalry?

After this last tour, I would say it is bigger than ever. I also think having all the big-name players play in the IPL, that both teams are more friendly to each other because most of the lads have camaraderie.

However, I guess what we saw from Tim Paine – specifically to Ravi Ashwin at the SCG - there is still a fire there. You will remember Tim came out and publicly apologised for his behaviour in the Third Test, but it probably made the Fourth Test at the Gabba more interesting to be fair. The build-up was way bigger because of it.

See you at the Gabba mate.

J - Who is your favourite Women's Cricketer?

I bet you guessed I would say, Ellyse Perry. You were right. She is so talented. Not just in cricket. She also represented Australia in soccer (football) when she was younger. How cool is that?

J - What is your all-time XI?

Okay, let me just preface this with saying I have made this list on players from my living memory and maybe it is slightly biased towards my favourite lads. You know me.

Matthew Hayden
Kane Williamson
Sachin Tendulkar
Virat Kohli (C)
Steve Smith
Ben Stokes
Adam Gilchrist (WK)
Brett Lee
Shane Warne
Jasprit Bumrah
Glenn McGrath

Fan Questions:

When is she planning to start covering Ranji Trophy and other Indian domestic tournaments?

I promise if I lived in India I would. I looked everywhere for any kind of live feeds of the recent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy here in Australia so I could watch but there was none.

Ask when she started following Indian cricket? And exactly from which inning she became a fan of Virat Kohli?

I have really liked Team India for a long time. And as an Aussie, believe me, I have copped a fair amount of crap from my fellow Australians for it. Oh, and from my brothers. Ha. So, thinking back on Virat Kohli I don’t really know how to answer that. Which innings? It is like asking me how long I have liked eating ice cream.

I remember the late 00s, early 10s we started hearing about this young Indian batter ‘the next big thing’. And Australia loved him. He was so cheeky and aggressive. He also scored his first Test century here in Adelaide in 2012. Amazing.

How does it feel to have to constantly prove that you are Indian cricket team fan and not doing it for followers or likes?

I love this question. Because the answer is: I don’t feel I have to prove anything. People will think what they think and that’s their prerogative. And I can like what I like and that’s my prerogative. At the end of the day, you know your own truth and that’s kind of all that matters. I think if people go out of their way to troll others, that says a lot about them. In my opinion, there are way better things to be doing with your time than trying to bring other people down (because that is a bit sad isn’t it?).

And as a side note to this: It does not matter if you have 3 followers or 3 million followers, at the end of the day family and friends – the most important people – will always be there. And that is real life.

If you made it this far, that’s amazing. It’s the end. But only for a minute. See you all on Twitter and in India soon! Hopefully, my Hindi is much better by then.
Dher Sara Pyaar
Chloe x

Thank you so much for reading. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss out any cricket related interviews.

Twitter – @bhavsarJ2_0
Instagram – @bhavsarj2_0



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