(Cricket news) After winning the silver medal at the commonwealth games and the Asia Cup, India’s preparation for the 2023 T20 World Cup will go in full flow. India women will host Australia in Mumbai for 5 T20Is. There have been quite a few changes in the squad with the World Cup in mind. Pooja Vastrakar is unavailable due to an injury she suffered while playing the WBBL.
Taniya Bhatia, Simran Bahadur, Sneh Rana, Dayalan Hemalata and KP Navgire have been dropped. Yastika Bhatia and Harleen Deol are back in the squad after a short hiatus. Devika Vaidya is back in the Indian side after 4 years while Anjali Sarvani has been called up for the first time. The exclusion of Sneh Rana is the biggest shock in the squad as there is no obvious reason for it.
India women’s ideal playing XI-
Openers: Smriti Mandhana & Shafali Verma
Mandhana and Verma have been India women’s openers in all 3 formats for a long time now. The left hand combination works really well up top and they will be very lethal in Indian conditions. Verma has been struggling for form a little but she is due a big knock and deserves to be backed. Jemimah Rodrigues, S Meghana and Yastika Bhatia are other options.
Middle order: Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur & Harleen Deol
Jemimah Rodrigues has been in incredible form with the India Women side but she did have a WBBL to forget. Rodrigues will be looking to get back to her groove to further solidify her position. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur has been leading from the front since becoming all format captain and she will be the key with the bat and occasionally with the ball as well. Harleen Deol has been out of the T20I set-up for a while but her ODI form has been pretty good. The management will be hoping that she can translate that form into the T20s. Yastika Bhatia and S Meghana are other options.
Wicket keeper: Richa Ghosh
he teenager has been in and out of the team but her talent cannot be questioned. Her wicket keeping skills are not at the level of Yastika Bhatia who is the other option but her batting prowess should keep her in the side.
All-rounders: Deepti Sharma, Devika Vaidya & Radha Yadav
Deepti was the player of the tournament in the Asia Cup. She is possibly India’s most important player. Radha has also been very consistent in T20Is and her selection is a no brainer at this point. Devika has previous international experience and should be tested immediately. Newcomer Anjali Sarvani is the other option while Rajeshwari Gaikwad could be selected if the management is willing to go with a batter short.
Seamers: Meghna Singh & Renuka Singh Thakur
Renuka Singh Thakur is one of the first names on the India Women team sheet right now. Her form and performance will be the key for India in this series and the World Cup. Meghna Singh is a really good ODI bowler but her place in the T20Is has always been questioned. Now is a good opportunity for her to put things right in Vastrakar’s absence. India have only 2 seamers in the squad hence this pair is likely to play all 3 games.
India Women Bench: Anjali Sarvani, Yastika Bhatia, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, S Meghana