The BCCI Women's selection committee have announced the squad for the South Africa series which is set to begin in Lucknow on March 7. While Yastika Bhatia and Sweta Verma have been added to the team, Shikha Pandey, who was the second-highest wicket-taker in the 2020 T20 World Cup, has been dropped.
After a gap of a year, the Indian Women's team will be back in action with a five-match ODI series and a subsequent T20I series against South Africa Women in Lucknow. While most of the players have retained their spots, there are a few surprise inclusions Yastika Bhatia, the left-handed batter from Baroda, and 'keeper Sweta Verma from Mumbai being added to the set-up for the five-match ODI series against South Africa.
Sushma Verma, who last played an ODI in 2018 and a T20I in 2016, has also been added to the squad while all-rounder Challuru Prathyusha and left-arm pacer Monica Patel have made it to the squad. While these inclusions are due to the performances in the domestic level, the biggest surprise has been the absence of Shikha Pandey who was India's second-highest wicket-taker at last year's T20 World Cup. Wicket-keeper Taniya Bhatia and Veda Krishnamurthy have also been dropped from both squads.
Although the series was initially slated to be played in Kerala, the KCA later expressed its inability after it was intimated to them that the Greenfield International Stadium was already rented out to the Army for a recruitment drive, Now, the ODI series will run from March 7 to 17 and the three T20Is will be played on March 20, 21 and 23 respectively, with all matches set to be played in Lucknow.
ODI squad:Mithali Raj (c), Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Punam Raut, Priya Punia, Yastika Bhatia, Harmanpreet Kaur, D Hemalatha, Deepti Sharma, Sushma Verma (wk), Swetha Verma (wk), Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Poonam Yadav, C Prathyusha, Monica Patel.
T20I squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh, Harleen Deol, Sushma Verma (wk), Nuzhat Parveen (wk), Ayushi Soni, Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Mansi Joshi, Monica Patel, C. Prathyusha, Simran Dil Bahadur.