Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur were on Friday retained as captains for the Indian women’s ODI and T20 team respectively while out-of-form Veda Krishnamurthy was dropped from both the squad picked for the New Zealand tour beginning next month.
India will play three ODIs in New Zealand beginning January 24 as part of the ICC Women’s Championship before playing three T20 Internationals.
The New Zealand tour will be the team’s first assignment after its controversial exit from the World T20 last month when it lost to England in the semi-finals. The 15-member squad for ODIs and T20s was announced a day after WV Raman was appointed as the head coach.
Gary Kirsten was ahead of Raman in the pecking order but the former India men’s coach was not ready to give up on his role with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.
The BCCI had invited fresh applications after Ramesh Powar’s term ended on November 30, following the World T20 loss in which he and Harmanpreet had collectively decided to drop senior player Mithali for the all-important semifinal, triggering a massive controversy.
The women’s team stood divided with Harmanpreet and her T20 deputy Smriti Mandhana backing Powar for an extension while Mithali was against such a move. However, both Harmanpreet and Mithali had agreed on sorting out their differences going forward.
While Mithali turned up for the selection committee meeting here on Friday, Harmanpreet, who is playing the Women’s Big Bash in Australia, joined via Skype . Selection panel chief Hemlata Kala announced the squads in the presence of BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary.
Veda was dropped from both the teams following her lean run, Hemlata told PTI . Mona Meshram replaced Veda in the ODI squad while two changes were made in the squad that went to the West Indies for the World T20.
Shikha Pandey replaced injured pacer Pooja Vastrakar in the T20 squad while uncapped Priya Punia was picked in place of Veda.
Female assistant coach recommended
Meanwhile, the three-member ad-hoc panel has recommended a female assistant coach to help out Raman.
After conducting the interviews of the 10 shortlisted candidates here on Thursday, only one of whom was a female, the panel has suggested a female assistant coach to be with the team all the time, primarily as a comforting factor for women cricketers.
Raman, meanwhile, has asked for a bowling coach to be added to the coaching staff, along with Biju George who is the fielding coach since last year.
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