Shikha Pandey, Ekta Bisht return for England tour; maiden ODI, Test call-up for Shafali Verma

Shikha Pandey, Ekta Bisht returned to the India women’s cricket team for its tour of England. Shafali Verma, too, was named in Test and ODI squads.

Shikha Pandey was India's second-highest wicket-taker during the women's T20 World Cup in March last year.   -  Vivek Bendre

Shikha Pandey, Ekta Bisht and Shafali Verma returned to the India women’s cricket team for its tour of England. Mithali Raj has been retained captain of the Test and ODI squads.

While Pandey and Bisht were out of the home series against South Africa in March, Verma was not picked for the ODI series. However, on Friday, the selection committee - headed by Neetu David - decided to bring back all the three cricketers for all the three formats.

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The selection panel drew flak for dropping the two in the home series, which India lost, and ahead of the England tour, the panel wanted to take the tried and tested side. While new coach Ramesh Powar was part of the meeting virtually, the committee decided not to experiment much - a move that backfired against South Africa.

With Powar back as the head coach, there was a buzz that there could be change in leadership. But Mithali was retained as the captain for Test and ODI. Indrani Roy - the wicketkeeper-batter from Jharkhand - has been named as the back-up wicketkeeper for all the formats, while Taniya Bhatia too was in the side.

India will travel to England on June 2 for a one-off Test and three T20Is and ODIs.

Test & ODI squads: Mithali Raj (Captain), Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), Punam Raut, Priya Punia, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Sneh Rana, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Indrani Roy (wicket-keeper), Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav.

T20I squad : Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain) Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Richa Ghosh, Harleen Deol, Sneh Rana, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Indrani Roy (wicket-keeper), Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav, Simaran Dil Bahadur.

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