After a cataclysmic Commonwealth Games Final, Indian Women are all set to host their nemesis Australia for five-match T20I series starting from 9th December. Both these teams would be half-cooked as India and Australia have not set foot on the field recently.
Despite the lack of international cricket, the players were inundated with domestic commitments. While Indian Women participated in the Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy recently, the Aussie squad was swamped up with Women’s National Cricket League 2022.
India’s roster has been announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the forthcoming five-match T20I series against Australia. Harmanpreet Kaur will lead the 15-member side, and Smriti Mandhana will act as the vice-captain of the Indian squad.
Yastika Bhatia and Richa Ghosh would serve as the two wicket-keeping options for Team India. The 22-year–old Yastika Bhatia will more likely be appended into the playing line-up considering her blistering form. Yastika Bhatia stitched an unbeaten 80* (56), including 12 fours and one maximum in the Women’s Challenger Trophy, that aided India D to win the championship.
Moreover, the major players, like Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, and Jemimah Rodrigues, were also selected. Rajeshwari Gaikwad, the left-arm orthodox spinner, is also mentioned on the list.
IND-W vs AUS-W: Anjali Sarvani Receives a Maiden Call-up
Anjali Sarvani, a left-arm seamer for Railways, captured her first national call-up after topping the Inter-State Women’s T20 competition with 17 scalps at an economy rate of 3.34, as well as the Inter-Zonal T20 competition with 10 wickets at an economy rate of 4.50.
In the recently concluded Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy, the 25-year-old Anjali finished with a respectable economy rate of 5.50 and chalked up three breakthroughs from four games. Meanwhile, Devika Vaidya, a left-handed all-rounder for Maharashtra, will also make her long-awaited comeback during the Australia series.
The left-handed Devika has bagged 169 runs in One-day cricket so far at an average of 28.16, including one half-century. The 25-year-old Devika made her international debut against South Africa in Bengaluru and since then, she has been flickering in and out of the squad. Divya’s last appearance in international cricket was back in 2018 against England in Nagpur.
In the Challenger’s Trophy, Divya also orchestrated an impressive 41* (27), including six boundaries that assisted India B edge past India C. Lamentably, experienced campaigner Pooja Vastrakar and Sneh Rana have been debarred from the Indian squad.
The bowling all-rounder Vastrakar has been ruled out of the squad owing to an undesignated injury while Sneh Rana’s omission from the squad had not been addressed. Lastly, the following players have been considered as net bowlers for the series: Shradda Pokharkar, Arundhati Reddy, Monika Patel, and Simran Bahadur.
Complete Indian Squad for the T20I Series:
IND-W vs AUS-W: Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Deepti Sharma, Radha Yadav, Anjali Sarvani, Devika Vaidya, Sabbhineni Meghana, Richa Ghosh, and Harleen Deol, Renuka Singh Thakur, Meghna Singh
The five-match T20I series of India against Australia will also act as a precursor to the upcoming T20 Women’s World Cup in South Africa commencing February 10th. The Indian Women’s Team is scheduled to play a tri-series alongside West Indies and host South Africa right before the inception of the T20 World Cup, while the Aussie team will be hosting Pakistan for 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is starting January 16th.
The first two meetings of the series will be hosted by DY Patil Sports Academy, Navi Mumbai on December 9 and 11, followed by the last three encounters at the Brabourne Stadium on December 14, 17, and 20.