New faces were seen in the Indian squad this year. A total of 4 women cricketers received their maiden caps for India in 2019. While Priya Punia and Harleen Deol debuted in both the formats for the country, Bharti Fulmali and Shafali Verma played their first games in women’s T20Is.
Here let’s have a look at the debutants of India Women in the year 2019 –
1. Priya Punia
Priya Punia made her T20I debut when India toured New Zealand earlier this year. She debuted in the first match of the series and could only score 4 runs facing 5 balls.
Her ODI debut in October was a more memorable one. Her debut in 50-overs came in the first ODI against South Africa at home. Not only Punia remained unbeaten on 75 off 124, she helped her team win the match by 8 wickets by chasing the target within 42 overs. She was also named as the Player of the Match in her debut ODI game. In November, Punia also made another 75 against West Indies in the first ODI in Antigua which came in 107 balls.
2. Harleen Deol
Harleen Deol made her ODI debut in the first game against England at home. On 22nd February, she played her first match for her country at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. She didn’t have a debut to remember though. She batted at number 5 and was dismissed on 2(8) by Nat Sciver. India went on to win the match by 66 runs.
She made her T20I debut on March 4 against the same opposition. This time, she opened the innings alongside Smriti Mandhana. While Mandhana was out on 2, Deol could only make 8 runs off 10 balls.
3. Bharti Fulmali
Bharti Fulmali made her international debut in the 2nd T20I against England on March 7 in Guwahati. She scored 18 runs facing 20 balls in that match. She was bowled by Katherine Brunt in the last over. In the 3rd T20I, she was again dismissed in the last over, this time by Kate Cross on 5 off 13. In both the games, she batted at number 6.
4. Shafali Verma
15-year old Shafali Verma made her debut in women’s T20Is when South Africa visited India. Although she bagged a duck in the first match, India managed to win the game by 11 runs. Her unlucky debut was soon followed by some inspiring performances. In the next game against South Africa, she scored 46 runs in 33 balls and was the highest run-getter from both the sides.
When India toured West Indies in November, Verma was one of the top contributors for her team. She hit 73 runs in 49 balls in the first T20I against the hosts, helping India win by 84 runs. She also bagged the Player of the Match award. She followed it up with a score of 69* off 35 in the next match, helping India win by 10 wickets. Shafali has been a true find of Indian cricket this year.
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