The new year has brought with it a much-awaited season of women's cricket for India - a T20 tri-series in Australia, leading up to the 2020 edition of ICC Women's T20 World Cup. Having reached the semi-final in the 2018 edition of the Women's T20 World Cup, fans will surely be pinning their hopes on the team for yet another glorious run.
The journey so far has been promising. Earlier this month, the Women's Challenger Trophy saw some great performances with India C coming out victorious. Perhaps the most promising aspect of all has been the emergence of a young talent pool - the most notable being the uncapped Richa Ghosh, who impressed all with her performance in the Challenger's Trophy.
Also see – ICC Under 19 world cup winners list
Playing for India B, Ghosh stepped up in a low scoring match against India C, scoring 25 off 26 balls - the highest for her team. In another match, her knock of 36 off 26 proved crucial in a thrilling build-up of events as her team chased a target of 149 against India B. The two crucial knocks, an impressive track record in domestic cricket and a penchant for boundaries earned her a place in the World T20 squad.
On the bowling front, there are fewer surprises as Poonam Yadav and Radha Yadav have been named in the squad. Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who claimed the highest number of wickets in the Challengers Trophy, has also made a return.
Taniya Bhatia remains the sole wicket-keeper for India in the squad.
With Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur taking the lead, and with youngsters like Richa Ghosh and Shafali Verma filling the ranks, the Indian batting order seems to have gained a greater resilience. Together with a stronger bowling unit, could this be the dream team for India as they embark on another World T20 journey?
Meanwhile, the tri-series involving Australia, England and India starts on 31st January. How the team adapts and builds will set the stage for their World Cup run.
The Women's T20 World Cup 2020 is set to commence on 21st February in Sydney and will conclude with the Final on 8th March at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Squad - Arundhati Reddy, Deepti Sharma, Harleen Deol, Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Jemimah Rodrigues, Pooja Vastrakar, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Richa Ghosh, Shafali Verma, Shikha Pandey, Smriti Mandhana (VC), Taniya Bhatia (WK), Veda KrishnamurthyPublished 15 Jan 2020, 11:07 IST