Harmanpreet Kaur led Indian Women’s cricket team is all set for the upcoming ICC Twenty20 World Cup in November 2018. The BCCI announced a 15-member squad for the tournament to be held in The West Indies from November 9 to 24.
The team is a blend of experience and young talents. Mithali Raj will continue to shower experience whereas the experienced Shikha Pandey has been eliminated from the squad due to the poor performance in ICC Women’s World Cup in 2017. With Harmanpreet leading the team first time in an ICC event, Smriti Mandhana will be her support system as vice-captain. Jemimah Rodrigues and Tanya Bhatia have been included in the squad after their performance in recent Sri Lanka tour where the Indian team sealed the series with massive triumph. The selectors have shown faith on the youngsters like Mansi Joshi and Arundhati Reddy whereas Pooja Vastarkar is all set to make her international comeback. She was out of the challenger’s trophy and Sri Lanka tour following her ankle injury.
Mithali, Smriti, and Harman will be the mainstays of the batting with Smriti to provide the early push. Mithali is in brilliant form as always and shown with her 61 ball 105 for India-A recently. Harman and Pooja are expected to provide the finishing touches.
With Poonam Yadav leading the spinning attack and Deepti Sharma in the squad, India can be assured of that segment. They have been impressive lately and produced some magical spells. The left arm spinners Ekta Bisht and Radha Yadav will be expected to supportive whereas Anuja Patil’s consistency will be the strength for the team. But Indian team will surely miss the veteran Jhulan Goswami in their bowling department as Jhulan recently took retirement from the Twenty20 format.
The Indian team will share a place in Group B with New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan, and Ireland and will play all the group matches at Guyana.
The first match of the tournament is set to be held on 9th November where the eves from India will face the white ferns from New Zealand. India will play a match each against their group members. Group A comprises Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, West Indies, and England. The top two from each group will have the face off in the semi-final matches.
Last Twenty20 world cup was a disappointment for the Indian team as they got eliminated in the group stage. The Caribbean condition is kind of similar to Asian one which will be a plus for the women in blue. The recent performances of team India have also been impressive in limited over matches. If they can continue to maintain the form, it will not be tough for them to reach the top four. Although defeating Australia and New Zealand in group stage can be troublesome for India.
India Women’s squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Mithali Raj, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy, Deepti Sharma, Tanya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Anuja Patil, Ekta Bisht, D Hemalatha, Mansi Joshi, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy.