Domestic form over trusted names: India's formula in Women's World Cup team
Some fans are surprised at the exclusions of Jemimah Rodrigues and Shikha Pandey. The in-form Yastika Bhatia and Renuka Thakur have been given maiden World Cup call-ups in their place.
The Indian women's cricket squad for the ICC Women's World Cup 2022 has been announced. Mithali Raj will be leading the team in New Zealand, with Harmanpreet Kaur as the vice-captain.
However, the squad selection has opened stirred a few debates. Three of the team's well-known players – veterans Shikha Pandey and Punam Raut and youngster Jemimah Rodrigues have all been left out of the World Cup suad. They are set to be replaced by World Cup debutants Richa Gosh, Renuka Singh Thakur and Yastika Bhatia.
Given the seaming conditions in New Zealand, the absence of Shikha Pandey from the squad has come as a surprise for many. The right-arm medium pacer has been one of the most successful bowlers for the Indian team and a reliable bowler during the death overs. However, in the year 2021, Shikha only played 3 ODI matches where she took 2 wickets in total.
Opener Jemimah Rodrigues has been missing from the ODI squad since last year. Even if included, Jemimah hasn't played an ODI for the national team since July 2021. Given the limited matches played due to the pandemic, Jemimah has been quite out of form and only made her T20 comeback in her WBBL debut in November.
Fans on social media are comparing Jemimah's exclusion from the squad to her idol Rohit Sharma's exclusion from the 2011 Men's World Cup squad. Back then, Rohit Sharma was also dropped from India's victorious campaign in the 2011 ODI World Cup. Many fans were surprised by his exclusion and criticized the team selection. The Hitman himself expressed his disappointment on Twitter.
Veteran player Punam Raut is another big name missing from this year's World Cup squad. Punam was a part of both England and Australia tours last year and played in 6 matches scoring a total of 295 runs. Her highest score was against South Africa where she scored 104 runs from 123 balls in March 2021.
Renuka Singh Thakur has not, but Richa Ghosh and Yastika Bhatia have both been involved in all the ODI matches that the Indian women's team played last year.
The 18-year-old Richa Ghosh has been referred to as a complete package, Richa had impressed everyone with her batting and keeping skills against Australia and South Africa last year. Due to her performance WBBL team Hobart Hurricanes signed the young star for her maiden tournament.
Yastika Bhatia had scored a 107 not out off 91 balls in the Indian Women's Senior One Day Trophy. Whereas, Renuka Thakur took a total of 9 wickets in 5 matches played.
All these three players will be expecting to make their World Cup debut in New Zealand.
The 15 players selected in the squad, including the standbys, and the likes of Shikha, Jemimah and Punam, were aall part of the 20-player group that took part in a boot camp in Dehradun last month.
The ICC Women's World Cup 2022 is scheduled to be held in March and April 2022 in New Zealand.