The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have announced a 15-member squad for the upcoming Women’s World Cup 2022. The global event will be held in New Zealand and will get underway on March 04. Mithali Raj will lead the team, which has a nice blend of youth and experience. However, the 15-member squad sees some surprising omissions in the form of Jemimah Rodrigues and Shikha Pandey.
For a long time, Rodrigues played as India’s number three in the 50-overs format. Her ability to score briskly and mix power with touch game earned her praise in the early part of her career.
However, her dip in form in the 50-over format against top teams like South Africa and Australia in 2021 brought her downfall. Yastika Bhatia, who made her ODI debut against Australia, has been preferred over Rodrigues. Bhatia managed to do well in the three-match ODI series Down Under and scored 102 runs.
Meanwhile, Pandey’s exclusion is shocking since she has been an integral part of the team’s pace bowling department. The pacer is the second most experienced bowler after Goswami and has played pivotal roles in many of India’ wins. Renuka Singh Thakur and Meghna Singh are preferred as fast bowling options.
All-rounder Sneh Rana retains her place in the team. She performed well across formats in 2021. India are due to tour New Zealand for five-match ODI series starting on February 09. The series will be good preparation for India ahead of the showpiece event. The Mithali Raj-led team will kick off their World Cup against archrivals Pakistan on March 06.
India Women’s squad for the World Cup 2022: Mithali Raj (C), Harmanpreet Kaur (VC), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Yastika, Deepti, Richa Ghosh (WK), Sneh Rana, Jhulan Goswami, Pooja, Meghna Singh, Renuka Thakur, Taniya Bhatia (WK), Rajeshwari, Poonam Yadav.
Standby Players: Sabbhineni Meghana, Ekta Bisht, Simran Dil Bahadur.