The Indian camp is all set to board the flight to the Caribbean islands. Riding high after the T20 series sweep against Sri Lanka recently, the coaching staff and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur believe to have found out the right team composition after trying out various combinations with bat and ball.
The BCCI has already announced the squad for the ICC WT20 World Cup. It is predominantly the same squad that played in Sri Lanka with a very few changes.
Harmanpreet Kaur(C), Smriti Mandhana (VC), Mithali Raj, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (WK), Anuja Patil, Mansi Joshi, Pooja Vastrakar, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Ekta Bisht, D Hemalatha and Arundhati Reddy.
Experienced all-rounder Shikha Pandey was axed from the squad following an ordinary run after the ICC WWC 2017. The young and impressive Pooja Vastrakar is all set to make her international comeback after she sustained an ankle injury that kept her out of the challengers trophy as well as the Sri Lankan limited overs series.
The team management has made it clear that it prefers youngsters by giving Mansi Joshi and Arundhati Reddy a long run. Mansi was adjudged the bowler of the ODI series in her national comeback after an eight month injury layoff. Reddy impressed the selectors by her ability to offer variations in crunch situations.
This will be the maiden ICC event for Harmanpreet Kaur as a captain. The Indian contingent will be without the services of veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami who recently announced her retirement from T20I’s.
The move to promote wicket -keeper Taniya Bhatia turned out to be a masterstroke, as the youngster made some priceless contributions with the bat. It is expected that she would feature in the Indian top order which has not been the case with the wicket-keepers in the past.
India can feel proud about their spin department with leg spinner Poonam Yadav leading the attack. She has been phenomenal with the ball in the Sri Lankan tour. T20 specialist Anuja Patil has also been chipping away with regular wickets and economical overs at the other end. The spin attack also has the wily Deepti Sharma who has been India’s best bet in recent times.The left -arm spinners Ekta Bisht and Radha Yadav will also be expected to come good in the multinational event. The conditions in the Carribean are similar to the Asian sub continent where the pitches are slow and assist the spinners. The White Ferns have also announced a spin heavy squad for the prestigious event.
Road to the Trophy
The Indian eves have been placed in Group B alongside New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan and Ireland. All the league matches of the Indians will be held at Guyana. India will lock horns first with the White Ferns on 9th of November this year,which will also be the first encounter of the competition.
India will play a match each against their group members viz: Australia, Pakistan and Ireland and New Zealand . Group A comprises of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, West Indies and England.
The teams that finish at the top two spots in each group will battle it out in the semis.
The women in blue have a good opportunity to reach the top four provided they play good Cricket right from the first ball of the tournament. India will have to play out of their skins to beat the Aussie women in the group stage. The Kiwis are also a potential threat to India ‘s chances.
However, India will believe that they have it in themselves and will be forced to get reminded of their dream run last year in the ICC WWC where they knocked out New Zealand and Australia.
If the ladies make it a season to remember, Women’s Cricket in India will grow manifolds.
Good luck to Harry and the girls!!