India women’s ideal playing XI for ODIs against Sri Lanka

(Cricket news) The Indian women's team are about to start their new era under the leadership of Harmanpreet Kaur. This will be the first series the women in blue will play since Mithali Raj's retirement. They will take on Sri Lanka in 3 ODIs at Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium. India have already won the T20I series 2-1 and now will be looking to start the new era with a series win. The squad has 3 changes in total from the World Cup squad. Apart from Mithali Raj who has retired, Jhulan Goswami is not a part of the squad for unknown reasons. Sneh Rana is another absentee who has been rested for the tour according to head coach Ramesh Powar.

Here's India's ideal playing XI for the ODIs against Sri Lanka

Openers: Smriti Mandhana & Shafali Verma

The opening combination is very crucial for India and majority of the time it gives them a good start. If one of these two plays a big knock then India will be in a good position. The left and right hand combination of the two is a very big asset for the team. Yastika Bhatia and S Meghna who are likely to play in the middle order can also open the batting if needed.  

Middle order: Yastika Bhatia, Harmanpreet Kaur & S. Meghna 

Harmanpreet Kaur was the player of the T20I series and is in red hot form. Now with the added responsibility of being the captain there will be more pressure but it wouldn't be a surprise if that gets the best out of her. In ODIs Yastika Bhatia has been performing consistently and she should continue to bat at number 3. She can also don the gloves if necessary which is a good asset. The void left by Mithali Raj is impossible to fill but someone will have to take her place. S Meghna played well in the New Zealand series before the World Cup and she was backed in the T20I series as well. She is the strongest candidate to complete the middle order while Harleen Deol is also an option.

Wicket keeper: Richa Ghosh 

Richa Ghosh didn't play in the last two T20Is but in ODIs it is very important that she plays. She is a naturally aggressive batter who can go big from ball one and the fact that she is left handed is an additional bonus. Yastika Bhatia can don the gloves while Taniya Bhatia is the more experienced option but it would be unfair to ax Richa Ghosh who has shown incredible potential in her international career at such a young age.

All-rounders: Deepti Sharma & Pooja Vastrakar

In absence of Sneh Rana these two are the only all-rounder options for India. Both Sharma and Vastrakar have been incredible in the past year. Their contribution with both bat and ball will be very crucial. There is a chance Deepti Sharma is used up the order if the situation demands.

Seamers: Meghna Singh & Renuka Singh

Harmanpreet Kaur's handy off spin means that India can play 3 pacers instead of 3 spinners. Meghna Singh didn't play a single T20I but in ODIs she has been very good. The team has trusted Renuka Singh in the shortest format and she is likely to take Jhulan Goswami's place in the side. Simran Bahadur is also another option. 

Spinner: Rajeshwari Gayakwad

Gayakwad has been India's ace spinner for a long time now. She didn't play the last two T20Is but in ODIs she is undroppable. Wrist spinner Poonam Yadav is another option but Gayakwad is definitely ahead in the pecking order. Her ability to take wickets while being economical makes her a very important part of the team.

Bench: Taniya Bhatia, Simran Bahadur, Poonam Yadav & Harleen Deol 

Also read: Doubts over Rohit Sharma's availability as India take on England


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