The senior women’s challenger trophy is a domestic tournament which is played in the one day format. The tournament has been a platform for youngsters to make an impression and showcase their talent. India Blue team are the current champions but the squads are reshuffled on a regular basis.
The format for the tournament is simple with the three teams playing against each other once in the league stage. The top 2 then meet in the finals. This year, the 4 matches will be played at the Devineni Venkata Ramana Praneetha Ground in Andhra Pradesh. All the 4 matches will be day matches starting at 9.00 AM from 3rd January, 2019 to 6th January, 2019.
The India Women Red, India Women Blue and India Women Green will be led by Shikha Pandey, Punam Raut and Mona Meshram respectively.
Let us have a look at the squads and the key players to watch out for –
India Women Red – Shikha Pandey(c), Neeragattu Anusha, Shivi Pandey, Veda Krishnamurthy, Vrushali Bhagat, Jasia Akhtar, Challa Jhansi Lakshmi, Shannti Kumari, Komal Zanzad, Radha Yadav, Harleen Deol, Ravi Kalpana, Tarannumbanu Pathan
Shikha Pandey – The veteran bowling all rounder will lead the India Red squad. She has a lot to prove after being overlooked for the ICC World T20 tournament which was held in the West Indies. She has picked up 55 wickets in her ODI career at an average of 21.43 and has scored 1176 runs at a healthy average of 22.21.
Veda Krishnamurthy – Another player who has a lot to prove after a sub-standard outing at the World T20 and being dropped for the upcoming tour of New Zealand. This talented middle order batswoman has scored 829 international runs at an average of 26 and strike rate of 77.
Radha Yadav – The 18 year old made immense of the opportunities presented at the ICC World T20 picking up 8 wickets in the tournament. The slow left arm bowler hasn’t played any international ODI but that opportunity doesn’t seem far away.
Harleen Deol – The batting all-rounder had recently represented India A team which took on England in T20 format. She had a decent outing picking up 1 wicket in 2 games and scoring 9 runs.
India Women Blue – Punam Raut(c), Priya Punia, Tanusree Sarkar, Bharati Fulmali, Aditi Sharma, Tamanna Nigam, Mansi Joshi, Reemalaxmi Ekka, Manali Dakshini, TP Kanwer, Sushma Verma, Minnu Mani, G Trisha
Punam Raut – One of the stars with the bat and a regular face in the ODI team, the skipper has made 2976 runs at a healthy average of 31. She was overlooked for the World T20 in the Caribbean but made great impact while taking on the Australia A team representing India A Women’s squad.
Priya Punia – the 22 year old opener from Delhi has received a maiden call up for India tour of New Zealand. She has shown good form in the recently concluded One Day league with 2 centuries.
Mansi Joshi – She has represented India in 10 games and has picked 12 wickets so far. She had a successful outing in Sri Lanka but her performance was not upto the mark in the ICC World T20 where she was picked only in 1 game with figures of 0/12.
Sushma Verma – She has been the first choice keeper for quite a while but has been overlooked in the recent past. She has represented the country in 38 ODIs and has 21 stumpings and 25 catches to her credit.
India Women Green – Mona Meshram(c), Dayalan Hemalatha, Shefali Sahu, Tejal Hasabnis, Anita Lodhi, Sneh Rana, Arundhati Reddy, Renuka Singh, Shubhlakshmi Sharma, Sushree Pradhan, SB Keerthana, Sweta Verma, Devyani Prasad
Mona Meshram – the 27 year old has played 23 ODIs making 352 runs at an average of nearly 21. The middle order batswoman has been in and out of the side and would like to make an impact in the series and cement her place in the Indian squad.
Dayalan Hemalatha – the all rounder was part of the ICC World T20 squad but could not make much of the opportunities presented. She picked up 5 wickets by conceding 80 runs in her 10 overs which was expensive as per the tournament standards.
Arundhati Reddy – She represented India in the recently concluded World T20 and picked up 2 wickets. The right arm medium fast bowler will love to make serious impact and restore faith in the minds of selectors through her performances in this tournament.
The tournament will act as a launching pad for these upcoming cricketers and will provide a platform for the players to showcase their skills and make a mark on the selection committee and get the ultimate chance of representing the country at the highest levels.