After almost a year-long break from international cricket, the Indian women’s cricket team will be back in action in March. The Women in Blue made their last international appearance on March 8, 2020, in the final of ICC Women’s World T20. Post that apart from the Women’s T20 Challenge Trophy that was held at Sharjah in November last year, there was hardly any game time for the players.
Finally, the confirmation of South Africa’s tour to India brings joy to not only the players but also women’s cricket fans, who have been devoid of entertainment for quite some time. On Saturday, the BCCI announced the squads for ODI and T20 series.
In this article, we will look at the ODI squad and analyze in brief the individual players.
ODI squad: 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
Mithali Raj: The highest run-getter in women’s ODI cricket is the pillar of strength of this Indian batting line-up. With an international cricket career of over 20 years, skipper Mithali Raj is one of the best in the business.
Smriti Mandhana: The stylish southpaw is known for her elegant batting and solidity at the top of the order. She will be expected to provide a strong start with the bat.
Jemimah Rodrigues: The Mumbai bat has earned the reputation of being a vital cog in the batting wheel in quick time. She has been like the glue that holds India’s batting order together.
Punam Raut: A technically sound opening bat, but blowing hot and cold, she would be looking to make the most of the opportunity that she gets in this series.
Priya Punia: She is a young and exciting talent, who is slowly and steadily finding feet at the international level.
Yastika Bhatia: The 21-year old southpaw from Vadodara has been picked up for the Indian team for the first time and there is seldom any doubt that she would be rearing to go. She is an opening bat.
Harmanpreet Kaur: The vice-captain of the Indian team is known for her exploits with the bat and her ability to roll her arm over to pick up crucial wickets.
Hemalatha Dayalan: The right arm off-spinner from Tamil Nadu has already featured in six ODIs for India. Though she has not got off to the best of starts, this series will be important for her in terms of cementing her place in the side.
Deepti Sharma: The dashing all-rounder has been an integral part of the Indian outfit. Her abilities to win matches with both bat and ball are well-known.
Sushma Verma (wicket-keeper): She is as good as a safe house behind the stumps. Adding to her wicket-keeping skills is her sound batting technique, which makes her a good all-around player.
Swetha Verma (wicket-keeper): The 24-year old wicket-keeper bat from Uttar Pradesh has earned her maiden India call. With Sushma Verma being around, it is a good chance for Swetha to learn things and grab whatever opportunity that is offered.
Radha Yadav: The left-arm spinner is one of the integral parts of India’s spin quartet. She is a wicket-taking bowler and is known for his disciplined lines and lengths.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad: Another left-arm spinner in the Indian ranks. She is one of the most experienced spinners and a lot will depend on her as far as wicket-taking is concerned.
Jhulan Goswami: The pace spearhead of the Indian team has been around at the international level for over 18 years. Her wealth of experience will definitely come in handy for the Indian team considering that the Women in Blue will take the field after almost a year.
Mansi Joshi: The right-arm medium pacer who has had a topsy turvy ride at the international level will look forward to this series and make it count, especially in the absence of Shikha Pandey.
Poonam Yadav: The leg spinner can entice any batter in her trap. Her loopy deliveries are her stock balls which have garnered loads of success over the years.
Challuru Prathyusha: Her performance in the recently concluded T20 India Nippon Cup backed by domestic performances was awarded an India call. The 22-year old from Karnataka will look to gain the maximum from this series.
Monica Patel: Just like Prathyusha, Monica Patel grabbed the eyeballs of the selectors with her performance in T20 India Nippon Cup. The 21-year-old from Karnataka has good speed and can hit good lines and lengths on a consistent basis.
The five-match ODI series will be played from March 7 to March 17 in Lucknow. Here is the schedule of the ODI series:
|March 7, 2021||1st ODI||
|March 9, 2021||2nd ODI|
|March 12, 2021||3rd ODI|
|March 14, 2021||4th ODI|
|March 17, 2021||5th ODI|
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.