Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav, Priya Punia make a comeback in India colors for South Africa series

As the cricketing world eagerly anticipates another enthralling showdown, the spotlight turns to the upcoming South Africa women’s team tour of India. Scheduled to commence on June 16th and culminate on July 9th, this series promises a riveting display of skill, strategy, and sportsmanship. Led by the indomitable Harmanpreet Kaur, the Indian squad braces to defend their home turf against the formidable South African side, captained by the talented Laura Wolvaardt. With both teams boasting a rich history of triumphs and a lineup of seasoned players, anticipation runs high as fans prepare for an unforgettable cricketing spectacle. Now we will take a look at players who are making a comeback into the Indian national side.

Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav, Priya Punia make a comeback in India colors for South Africa series
Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav, Priya Punia make a comeback in India colors for South Africa series

1. Arundhati Reddy

Arundhati Reddy, a right-arm medium pacer, is set to make a notable return to the T20I squad after an absence of nearly three years, following her last appearance against England on 14th July 2021. Renowned for her sharp bowling and proficiency in swinging the ball, Reddy’s comeback is anticipated to bolster the Indian bowling attack, providing crucial support in pivotal moments of the game. With 26 T20I matches under her belt, Reddy has claimed 18 wickets at an average of 35.66 and an economy rate of 7.49, showcasing her effectiveness on the international stage.

Reddy’s hiatus from the national team was attributed to the emergence of new talent and heightened competition for spots. However, during her time away from international cricket, she remained dedicated to improving her bowling technique. Participating in domestic tournaments such as the Women’s Senior T20 Trophy and the Women’s T20 Challenge, Reddy delivered commendable performances. Notably, in the Senior Women’s One Day Trophy where she amassed 252 runs across 6 matches, including three half-centuries. Additionally, her contributions in the Senior Women’s Interzonal One Day Trophy and the Senior Women’s Interzonal T20 Trophy, where she accumulated 226 runs and claimed 7 wickets respectively, further underscored her credentials for a national team recall.

Furthermore, her impressive display in the Women’s Premier League 2024, where she snared 8 wickets in 9 games with a best figure of 2/27 against Mumbai Indians, solidified her comeback bid. Reddy’s perseverance and dedication in domestic cricket garnered attention from selectors, ultimately earning her a well-deserved recall to the T20I squad. As she gears up for the South Africa series, Reddy returns with renewed confidence, poised to make a significant impact and contribute to India’s quest for success in the upcoming fixtures.

2. Priya Punia

Priya Punia, a top-order batter, returns to the ODI squad after her last appearance against Bangladesh on 19th July 2023. Known for her solid technique and ability to anchor the innings, Punia will aim to strengthen the batting lineup against South Africa. With 11 ODIs under her belt, she has scored 225 runs at an average of 25.00, showcasing her capability to provide stability at the top of the order. Her return is expected to boost India’s batting strength, offering a reliable option in the top three.

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During her time away from international cricket, Punia diligently worked on improving her game, participating in domestic competitions such as the Women’s Senior One Day Trophy. Her impressive performances in these tournaments, including scoring 368 runs in 8 matches at an average of 52.57 and a strike rate of 73.80, for her state team, highlighted her improved form and fitness. Punia’s dedication and hard work in the domestic circuit have earned her a recall to the national squad. Making a comeback for the South Africa series, she is determined to make a significant impact and re-establish herself as a key player in the Indian lineup.

3. Radha Yadav

Radha Yadav, a left-arm orthodox spinner, is poised for a noteworthy return to the ODI squad after a hiatus spanning more than three years, following her last appearance against South Africa on 14th March 2021. With an impressive tally of 18 wickets from 16 ODIs, boasting an average of 25.72 and an economy rate of 4.74, Yadav emerged as a formidable force in the Indian team’s spin arsenal.

Yadav’s absence from the national team was predominantly attributed to the increasing talent pool and intense competition. However, during her hiatus from international cricket, she remained steadfast in her pursuit of excellence, dedicating herself to refining her skills and maintaining peak form. Noteworthy performances in domestic tournaments and the Women’s T20 Challenge served as a testament to her unwavering commitment, catching the selectors’ discerning eye and ultimately paving the way for her return to the ODI squad.

With stellar performances to her credit, including an impressive showcase in the Senior Women’s Interzonal One Day Trophy where she clinched 8 wickets in 6 matches and also emerged as the 6th highest run-scorer with 206 runs, including a century and a half-century in 4 innings. Additionally, her ability was evident in the Senior Women’s Interzonal One Day Trophy, where she claimed 8 wickets in 6 matches with a best bowling figure of 3/27, and also contributed significantly with the bat, accumulating 206 runs in 4 innings, including a century. Moreover, Yadav’s stellar form extended to the Senior Women’s One Day Tournament, where she garnered 309 runs in 6 matches, with a highest score of 98, and also snared 8 wickets. Notably, her recent performance in the Women’s Premier League 2024 saw her clinching 10 wickets in 9 games, with a remarkable best figure of 4/20 against UP Warriorz.

With such a formidable track record and recent exploits, Yadav’s return is poised to significantly bolster India’s spin bowling options and provide crucial breakthroughs in the middle overs. Making a comeback in the South Africa series, she is fervently eager to reaffirm her status as a pivotal player in the national setup.

4. Meghna Singh

Meghna Singh, a right-arm medium-fast bowler, is poised to rejoin the Test squad after her last appearance in the historic pink-ball Test against Australia from 30th September to 3rd October 2021. With valuable experience in the longest format of the game, Singh’s return adds depth to India’s pace attack. Her seam bowling skills are anticipated to offer a valuable alternative for the team, enhancing their bowling options.

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During her hiatus from the national team, Singh remained active in various formats, including the Senior Women’s Interzonal One Day Tournament, where she showcased her skill by claiming 7 wickets in 6 matches. Furthermore, her recent performances in the Women’s Premier League were commendable, particularly her impressive haul of 4 wickets with best figures of 4/37 against Delhi Capitals, highlighting her ability to make an impact in crucial situations.

Singh’s absence from the national team may have been influenced by various factors, including team selection strategies and a slight dip in form. However, her consistent performances in domestic and league cricket ensured she remained a viable option for the national squad. As she gears up to make her comeback to the Test squad, Singh’s experience and proficiency in seam bowling will undoubtedly bolster India’s pace attack, providing them with an added advantage in the upcoming fixtures.

5. Dayalan Hemalatha

Dayalan Hemalatha, a versatile all-rounder renowned for her off-spin bowling and batting prowess, is set to make a comeback to the ODI squad after her last appearance against England on 24th September 2022. With 16 ODIs to her credit, Hemalatha has showcased her capabilities with both bat and ball, contributing significantly to the team’s success. Her off-spin has earned her 13 wickets at an average of 28.38 and an economy rate of 4.41, while her batting skills have seen her score 190 runs at an average of 19.00.

During her time away from international cricket, Hemalatha battled with recurring injury concerns, which hampered her ability to perform at her peak. This period of injury not only sidelined her from competitive matches but also necessitated a comprehensive rehabilitation process to regain her fitness and overcome any lingering issues. Additionally, Hemalatha also faced a dip in form, which compounded the challenges she encountered during her absence from the national team. This combination of physical setbacks and a decline in performance served as significant hurdles in her cricketing journey.

However, she remained determined to regain her spot and worked tirelessly on her game during her time away from international cricket. During her break from international cricket, Hemalatha excelled in domestic competitions, amassing 348 runs at an average of 58.00 and claiming 12 wickets at 18.75 in the Women’s Senior One Day Trophy. These impressive stats, alongside her dedication, facilitated her return to the ODI squad. Hemalatha’s return adds valuable experience and balance to the team, making her a vital asset in the upcoming series.

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