The All-India Women’s Selection Committee on Wednesday announced India’s squad for the upcoming 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup which begins in South Africa on February 10.
Fast bowling all-rounder Shikha Pandey has made a sensational return to the 15-member side led by Harmanpreet Kaur. The 33-year-old Shikha last featured in a T20I in October 2021 in Australia before being surprisingly excluded from the team before the 2022 Women’s ODI World Cup.
Shikha is India’s second-leading wicket-taking seamer in WT20Is (40) behind Jhulan Goswami. Shikha will take the place of seamer Meghna Singh who has been demoted to the reserves after a lacklustre run against Australia.
While there were no other highlights in the squad which largely picked itself, the BCCI stated that all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar’s addition would be subject to fitness. Vastrakar had recently missed India’s home series against Australia. Left-arm seamer Anjali Sarvani, who made an impressive debut in the recently-concluded series, is also set to feature in her first T20 World Cup.
Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Devika Vaidya round-up India’s spin-bowling options while off-spinner Sneh Rana was listed among the reserves.
India, the runner-up of the previous edition, opens its campaign Pakistan in Cape Town on February 12. Placed in Group B, India will also take on England, Ireland and West Indies.
India will have a final lap of preparation when it plays South Africa and West Indies in a tri-series tournament from January 19 in East London. Wicketkeeper-batter Sushma Verma and uncapped all-rounder Amanjot Kaur have been added to the squad for the seven-match series which concludes on February 2.
India’s squad for ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (Vice-Captain), Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Richa Ghosh (wk) Jemimah Rodrigues, Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Devika Vaidya, Radha Yadav, Renuka Thakur, Anjali Sarvani, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey
Reserves: Sabbhineni Meghana, Sneh Rana, Meghna Singh.
India’s squad for Tri-series: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (Vice Captain), Yastika Bhatia (wk), Jemimah Rodrigues, Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Devika Vaidya, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Radha Yadav, Renuka Thakur, Meghna Singh, Anjali Sarvani, Sushma Verma (wk), Amanjot Kaur, Pooja Vastrakar, Sabbhineni Meghana, Sneh Rana, Shikha Pandey