Blend of the young talents, rising stars, and legends of the sport, the ICC Women’s World Cup squad for India is a highly skilled one as the 2017 runners-up compete in the race to their maiden World Cup title in what would most probably be the last appearance for the pioneers of the game, their Skipper Mithali Raj and all-rounder Jhulan Goswami.
While the experience of Raj and Goswami would play a major role for the side that is one of the favorites, the presence of the 2022 ICC Women’s Cricketer of the year, Smriti Mandhana, star of 2017 World Cup Semi-Final, Harmanpreet Kaur, spinner Poonam Yadav and the all-rounder presence of Deepti Sharma add further depth to the team, altogether giving confidence to the ODI World Cup debutants from the country.
Here is a list of 10 Indian female cricketers who would be desperate to make their World Cup debut this season.
One of the exceptional talents women’s crickets have seen in the past couple of years is opener Shafali Verma. The 18 years old has already made it to the top of the T20I batting ranking Twice and now would be looking forward to achieving big in the ODIs as well. Making her ODI debut in June 2021 on India’s tour to England, Verma has aggregated 164 runs in 6 matches at 27.33 till now and forms a strong opening stand with the experienced Smriti Mandhana.
Making her international debut last year during India’s tour to Australia, Yastika Bhatia has the potential to achieve big in the sport and she has already proved it. Scoring a crucial 64 in just her 3rd ODI, Bhatia helped India break Australia’s winning streak of 26 ODIs. The 21 years old also contributed to India A’s 2021-22 Senior Women’s Challenger Trophy Victory with a player of the match performance in the Finals, finishing the competition as the 2nd highest run-scorer.
Being given the responsibility of the stumps as a wicketkeeper, the young Richa Ghosh also made her ODI debut on Australia’s tour. Playing the 3 ODIs, she accumulated 76 runs at 38.00, missing out on her maiden half-century by 6 runs. Her impressive wicket-keeping skills have helped her in finding a spot in India’s squad.
All-rounder Sneh Rana isn’t a new face to the ODI squad but is definitely an inspiration for many after an outstanding comeback from an injury that kept her out of the national squad for 5 years. A promising performer with both bat and ball, Rana has delivered every time the team has needed her and in the 11 matches ODI career till date, have aggregated 82 runs with 61 of those coming in the 4 ODIs she played last year. She also led India A to their maiden Senior Women’s Challenger Trophy later last year.
Though making her ODI debut in 2018, Pooja Vastrakar came to the spotlight last year. Playing ODIs after 3 years, Vastrakar scored a total of 64 runs and 4 wickets in the 4 matches she played, taking her overall ODI runs tally to 152 runs and recording her best spell of 3/46 in the 3rd ODI against Australia.
The next new face of Indian Women’s Cricket is Pacer Meghna Singh. The 27 years old has played for Railways in domestic cricket under the captaincy of India’s ODI captain Mithali Raj and was a part of the 2021-22 Women’s Senior One Day Trophy-winning squad. She made her international debut last September against Australia and would be looking forward to proving her potential further during the World Cup.
Renuka Singh Thakur:
Though haven’t made her ODI debut yet, Renuka Singh Thakur has had an impressive T20I debut as well as a great domestic cricket career prior to it. Opening her international wicket tally with the big wicket of Australia’s wicket-keeper Alyssa Healy in the 3rd T20I of India’s tour to Australia, the seam bowler was the leading wicket-taker of the 2019-20 Senior Women’s One Day trophy.
The experience of Taniya Bhatia and her outstanding wicket-keeping skills is what make her a good fit for the World Cup squad. With the bat, the 24 years old has scored a total of 130 ODI runs in 18 matches while her contribution from behind the stumps has been applaudable.
Sabbhineni Meghana (Traveling Reserve):
The leading run-scorer of the 2021–22 Women’s Senior One Day Trophy and the star performer for India in the 1st T20I between India and New Zealand on Tuesday, Sabbhineni Meghana is chosen as a traveling reserve for the team. Making a comeback after 5 years, Meghana contributed crucial runs in the shortest format and now would be looking forward to making her ODI debut.
Simran Dil Bahadur (Traveling Reserve):
Similar to Meghana, Simran Dil Bahadur is yet to make her ODI debut but has contributed well in the 3 T20Is she played when India hosted South Africa early last year. The 22 years old has been chosen as a reserve player in the World Cup squad.
Author of the poetry book ‘The Scent of Rhythm’, I am a passionate writer and a Sports enthusiast who writes on Cricket and plays Badminton.