Ahead of England series, plenty to ponder for women's selection panel

Indian women’s cricket national selection committee meets in New Delhi on Saturday to pick the squads for the home series against England.

The women's team selectors will need to decide whether to continue with Mithali Raj in T20Is or keep her exclusively for the ODIs, a course taken with seamer Jhulan Goswami.   -  ICC

India’s women’s cricket national selection committee is likely to have a fair share of talking points when it meets in New Delhi on Saturday to pick the squads for the home series against England.

India heads into the series following a mixed results in New Zealand. India won the ODI series 2-1, but NZ has taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match T20 series.

The ODI squad's skipper, Mithali Raj, was not a part of the two T20Is. Her role in the shortest format of the game has been the subject of much talk since she was dropped in the final of the World T20 in the West Indies last year. 

Interim coach Ramesh Powar's stint ended under volatile circumstances after the World T20 final.

But now, with W.V. Raman taking charge, the selectors need to decide whether to continue with Mithali in the shortest format or keep her exclusively for the one-dayers, a course taken with seamer Jhulan Goswami.

The T20 unit's captain, Harmanpreet Kaur, hasn't been at her best this series. 

With two of the five selectors, Hemlata Kala and Shashi Gupta, in New Zealand with the team, the committee is expected to take their opinions into consideration. 

“The selectors need to have a long-term plan and act accordingly. The team has played fearless cricket in the last few years, but it looks some areas need to be addressed,” said a person aware of the developments surrounding Indian women's cricket. The person would not deny or confirm the possibility of a shake-up in leadership roles. 

Harmanpreet, who has scored 46 runs (she got to bat in one ODI innings and two T20Is) in New Zealand so far, isn't too perturbed. After the close loss to New Zealand on Friday, she said, “(T20) is a totally different format. In ODIs, you can come back even if you make a mistake. But in T20, you have very less time to think about that. You have to be always on your toes.”

England will play three ODIs, followed by three T20Is, on the tour of India beginning February 22.