Bengal’s rookie batswoman Richa Ghosh is the only new face in a 15-member Harmanpreet Kaur-led India squad for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia, starting February 21.
“See, in the past one year, we have taken five to six debutants. Earlier, the same team used to play but after 2017 ODI World Cup, a lot of new prospects have emerged. We feel we have nurtured five or six new players, who are playing now. Richa Ghosh is a new player and here the role of selectors increases,” chairman of women’s selection committee Hemlatha Kala told reporters at the press conference. The selectors also announced a 16-member squad for a tri-series in Australia prior to the T20 World Cup, with Nuzhat Parveen being added as the 16th member. That tournament starts on January 31 and also features England.
Skipper Harmanpreet feels that playing the tri-series before the big event will be advantageous for the team. “Before the World Cup, this series is going to be a big one for us and we will look for our best combination and with that we will give chances to newcomer also. As (Hemlata) madam mentioned, we have Richa, who did well in the Challenger Trophy and domestic cricket, so we will stick to our best XI. Before the World Cup, we will be able to decide our best XI,” Harmanpreet said.
Harmanpreet has had the experience of playing in the Women’s Big Bash League and that will help her plan better. “I think that experience will definitely help and we know how the wickets are over there and that definitely give us extra boost (over) there,” said the skipper. She also agreed that spinners have been India’s strength in bowling and it wouldn’t change much on the bouncy Australian tracks.
World T20 Squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodriguez, Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Veda Krishnamurthy, Richa Ghosh, Tania Bhatia, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gaikwad, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy.