The BCCI has announced the 15-players squad for the 2022 ICC Women’s ODI World Cup in New Zealand. And like old times, the selection policy of the committee has sparked heated round arguments across circles of the sport. With a vision to build a side around youth, the selection committee has made some astonishing decisions. Seniors players like Shikha Pandey, Jemimah Rodriguez, and Punam Raut were left out for reasons unknown.
This is not the first time that the present-day selection committee of the Women’s Team is facing the heat. The Neetu David headed panel comprising of Arati Vaidya, Renu Margrate, V Kalpana and Mithu Mukherjee decided to not include the likes of Shafali Verma, Shikha Pandey, Ekta Bisht, Anuja Patil, Veda Krishnamurthy, and Taniya Bhatia against the Proteas in the homes series back in 2021. The result t saw the South African team slamming the hosts and clinching a comprehensive series victory.
Focus more on youth
Therefore, the squad selection for a tournament as big as the World Cup is definitely the first step to reaching the goal. Mithali Raj and her team despite having the potential have not been consistent as an aside. With the pandemic hitting its worst the last year, it was quite a long break for the players to be back at their prime when things slowly improve. India were too close to its maiden World Cup back in 2017 when they narrowly missed the chance after a close final against hosts England.
A closer look at the offical squad
If we take a look at the official squad we find experienced players like Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, and Deepti Sharma who play the key role of being the crisis core for the team in formidable situations. Modern-day sensations like Shafali Verma, Richa Ghosh, and Renuka Singh will be the X-factor in New Zealand. A major challenge for the Indian Batting unite will be to score runs at a brisk pace, something the team has been accomplishing in past matches.
The absence of Jemimah is thus so shocking, considering her career statistics plus her stellar show with the bat in Hundred 2021. With no Shikha Pandey in the squad, the pace battery will to lack experience. Jhulan Goswami has got a plethora of experience and she still remains India’s primary weapon with the white ball.
Despite all debates, fans will hope the women in blue repeat their dominating performance of 2017 and realize the dream of being the World Champions. The team will play an ODI series against the Kiwis in their backyard to get the best preparation for the World Cup.
Team India for World Cup: Mithali Raj (Captain), Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh (wicket-keeper), Sneh Rana, Jhulan Goswami, Pooja Vastrakar, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh Thakur, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav.
Standby players: Sabbhineni Meghana, Ekta Bisht, Simran Dil Bahadur.
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