Uncapped Meghana Singh, Renuka Singh Thakur and Yastika Bhatia called up for Australia tour

With less than a month to go for the riveting contest between India and Australia, the BCCI announced the squads for the ODIs, Test and T20Is on August 24. The two teams will play a three-match ODI series, followed by a pink-ball Test and three-match T20I series. India will travel to Australia on August 29 and the series will be played from September 19 to October 11.


L-R: Meghana Singh, Yastika Bhatia and Renuka Singh Thakur
L-R: Meghana Singh, Yastika Bhatia and Renuka Singh Thakur

India Women’s Squad for Australia tour 2021

ODIs and Test: Mithali Raj (Captain), Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Punam Raut, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana, Yastika Bhatia, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Shikha Pandey, Jhulan Goswami, Meghna Singh, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Richa Ghosh, Ekta Bisht.

T20Is: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana, Yastika Bhatia, Shikha Pandey, Meghna Singh, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Richa Ghosh (wicket-keeper), Harleen Deol, Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav, Renuka Singh Thakur.

Three uncapped players in the form of Meghana Singh (Railways), Renuka Singh Thakur (Himachal Pradesh), and Yastika Bhatia (Baroda) have made the cut into the Indian squad. Indrani Roy and Simran Dil Bahadur, who were a part of the Indian contingent for the England series, missed out. Roy and Bahadur did not get a go in the England series and would be disappointed to have not retained their places. Rajeshwari Gayakwad comes back into the side after recovering from her knee injury which kept her out of action. Priya Punia, just like Roy and Bahadur, is the other player to have not made it to the team. India’s middle-order bat Veda Krishnamurthy has been overlooked again for the Australia series.

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The selection has certainly raised many eyebrows with the likes of Krishnamurthy, Roy, and Bahadur missing out. Early in the year when South Africa toured India, the Women in Blue included C Prathyusha and Monica Singh, who were later dropped for the England series.

Why is the Indian team management and selection committee chopping and changing players for every series? What is the rationale for dropping players who have not played a single game in the series? With the 50-over World Cup less than seven months away, wouldn’t it be a good idea to have a consistent squad?

The newly appointed coach Ramesh Powar mentioned about “ideological change” at the end of the England multi-format series which India lost 6-10. In order to bring that change, first, it is important that the players feel secured of their place in the team. With a sword constantly hanging over their heads, it could be difficult for the players to concentrate on their game and perform for the team. The chopping and changing is doing no good. It is time that the team management picks the top 15 players, keeping in mind the World Cup that will be played in March-April 2023 in New Zealand.

Schedule: India Women’s tour of Australia 2021

19th September – 1st ODI
22nd September – 2nd ODI
24th September – 3rd ODI
30th September – 3rd October – Test Match
7th October – 1st T20I
9th October – 2nd T20I
11th October – 3rd T20I

I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.

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