After a successful Women’s Asia Cup campaign and just enough domestic cricket, the Indian women’s team get back on the road for some international cricket in their lead-up to the upcoming, International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Twenty20 (T20) World Cup that’s scheduled to be played early next year in South Africa.
The Indian women’s team re-group for the first time since mid-October and in their lead-up to the mega ICC event in the waiting, the team is due to play a blockbuster 5-match Twenty20 Internationals’ (T20I) series against Australia and in January 2023, the team is scheduled to a play a Tri-Series featuring World Cup hosts, South Africa and West Indies.
India’s lead-up to the South Africa World Cup gets underway on the 9th of December with their 1st of 5 T20I games on the schedule against defending champions, Australia at the D.Y. Patil Stadium. For the series, the All-India Women’s Selection Committee has announced a 15-member squad (mentioned just below) and a few notable omissions and inclusions have been briefed below.
India’s T20I squad for 5-match series against Australia announced.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) December 2, 2022
India’s squad for the Australia series :
Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana (VC), Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia (WK), Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Renuka Singh Thakur, Meghna Singh, Anjali Sarvani, Devika Vaidya, S Meghana, Richa Ghosh (WK), Harleen Deol
Net bowlers – Monika Patel, Arundhati Reddy, SB Pokharkar, Simran Bahadur
Pooja Vastrakar misses out due to an injury
A big miss for India in the series has come in Pooja Vastrakar’s absence and the reasoning stated in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) media release read, “Pooja Vastrakar is ruled out owing to an injury and was not considered for selection.”
The air around Pooja Vastrakar quickly settled in the confirmation from the BCCI, but with a pacer injured and the selectors yet again overlooking Shikha Pandey and Simran Bahadur, the selectors yet again found themselves targetted with questions that deserve attention and need to be answered.
Anjali Sarvani gets her maiden India call-up
In Pooja Vastrakar missing out, it’s a deserving call that’s gone Anjali Sarvani’s way who on the back of strings of impressive domestic performances has made the cut. Anjali being a left-arm bowler adds variety to the Indian attack that for long was one-dimensional with right-arm bowlers at the task.
Wrist-spinner Devika Vaidya returns to India Setup
Adding more variety to the bunch of 15 comes in the inclusion of wrist spinner, Devika Vaidya for whom it’ll be a comeback series having last played the format internationally back in 2014. India’s line-up was dominated by off-spinners and the 25-year-old with her Leg-break is another flavor that the Indian attack missed. Devika’s come into the 15 following Sneh Rana’s likely omission for the better.
Anjali Sarvani in the Senior Women’s InterZonal Trophy finished as the 2nd highest wicket-taker with 10 wickets to her name off 6 innings and importantly at an economy rate of 4.50. In the Senior Women’s T20 Trophy, Anjali topped with wickets chart with as many as 17 to her name off 10 innings. Pushing for a comeback, Devika Vaidya, in the InterZonals followed Anjali on the list seeded 4th with 9 wickets to her name off 6 innings at an impressive economy rate of 4.85.
Yastika Bhatia and Harleen Deol joins India’s T20I setup
The batting department too sees a few omissions and inclusions with Hemalatha Dayalan and Kiran Navgire making way for the return of Yastika Bhatia and Harleen Deol into the T20I setup after a dominating domestic season. While Yastika Bhatia topped the run-scorers list in the Senior Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy with 203 runs off 4 innings, she finished 2nd in the InterZonals with 212 runs to her name off 6 innings.
Harleen Deol finished as the 3rd highest wicket-taker in the Senior Women’s InterZonal Trophy with 9 wickets to her name off 4 innings, she with 124 runs off 4 innings, finished as the 3rd highest run-scorer in the Challenger Trophy.
Kiran Navgire, Jasia Akhter, Nuzhat Parween missed the bus
Sushma Verma and Nuzhat Parween too had an impressive domestic run, but with them being top-order batters, the return of the duo wasn’t very much on cards. Jasia Akhter who made head turns this season is a notable miss for India who with the omissions of Kiran Navgire and Sneh Rana have thrown the burden on finishing on a lone name in Richa Ghosh who herself has got a lot at stake in cementing her young career.