New Faces, Surprise Exclusions in Women’s Cricket Squad vs SA
The ODI squad will be led by Mithali Raj and the T20I squad will be captained by Harmanpreet Kaur.
All-rounder Shikha Pandey and wicket-keeper Taniya Bhatia, who has the most dismissals for India in T20Is, are among those dropped from the Indian women’s cricket team for the ODI and T20I series against South Africa, beginning 7 March.
The Indian women’s cricket team will finally return to competitive cricket, almost a year after the T20 World Cup final played against Australia in Melbourne. The ODI squad will be led by Mithali Raj and the T20I squad will be captained by Harmanpreet Kaur.
Kaur and Smriti Mandhana continue to be the deputies in ODIs and T20Is.
Pratyusha Challaru, Monika Patel, Simran Dil Bahadur, Yastika Bhatia, Ayushi Soni and Swetha Verma have earned their maiden call-ups to the India’s 22-member squad while, surprisingly, likes of Ekta Bisht, Anuja Patil and Veda Krishnamurthy have also been dropped.
The selection committee has named separate 18-member teams have for the ODIs and T20Is.
Mithali Raj, Hemalatha, Punam Raut, Priya Punia, Yastika and Jhulan Goswami are only part of the ODI squad whereas the likes of Shafali Verma, Harleen Deol, Nuzhat Parween, Soni, Arundhati Reddy, Patel and Dil Bahadur feature only in T20I team.
While big names have been excluded, wicket-keeper Sushma Verma returns to the fold after April 2018 which is when she last played an ODI. Her last T20I appearance was in 2016 December.
In the ODI squad fast bowler Mansi Joshi makes a comeback after an injury layoff for the first time in over 15 months. She wasn't part of the Women's T20 Challenge last November because of the injury.
The Indian women’s cricket team will be playing South Africa in 5 ODIs and 3 T20Is in Lucknow beginning 7 March. The eight games will be played at Lucknow’s Bharat Ratna Shree Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana International Stadium.
Indian players' only outing since that final in Melbourne was during the exhibition Women's T20 Challenge in Sharjah in November last year. Some of the Indian players also participated in local club tournament in Bangalore earlier this year.
The contingent is in five-day quarantine in Lucknow and have to clear two COVID-19 tests during this period before they can start training.
India Women’s squad for ODI series: Mithali Raj (Captain), Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Punam Raut, Priya Punia, Yastika Bhatia, Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), D. Hemalatha, Deepti Sharma, Sushma Verma (wicket-keeper), Swetha Verma (wicket-keeper), Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Poonam Yadav, C. Prathyusha, Monica Patel
India Women’s T20I squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh, Harleen Deol, Sushma Verma (wicket-keeper), Nuzhat Parveen (wicket-keeper), Ayushi Soni, Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Mansi Joshi, Monica Patel, C. Prathyusha, Simran Dil Bahadur
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