Maiden call-up for Indrani Roy; Shikha Pandey, Taniya Bhatia return for England tour

(From left) Shikha Pandey, Taniya Bhatia, Sneh Rana have returned to India's squad. © Getty Images/ Women's CricZone

Indrani Roy has earned her maiden call-up to the national side, while Shikha Pandey, Ekta Bisht and Taniya Bhatia have also been named in India’s squad for the tour of England. Sneh Rana, who last played for India in 2016, also earned a recall. The Neetu David-led selection committee, on Friday (May 14), named an 18-member Test and ODI squad and 17-member T20I squad for next month’s multi-format tour, starting with a Test in Bristol from June 16.

Roy, the wicketkeeper-batter from Jharkhand, scored 456 runs in the Senior One Day Trophy 2020-21, topping the charts for the season. She was the only batter to score over 400 this year, with an impressive strike rate of 86.52. She has been picked up as backup to Bhatia in all three formats. Rana, on the other hand, struck at a strike rate of over 120 in the middle order for Railways, while also picking up 18 wickets with her off spin – the most in the competition. She finds a spot in all formats for the tour.

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Meanwhile, Pandey and Bhatia, both of whose exclusion ahead of the home series against South Africa in March raised eyebrows, have returned. Pandey picked up six wickets in the domestic competition, including three for ten in Goa’s win over Chandigarh and also struck 44 against Andhra. Bhatia returned 11 dismissals with the gloves and also scored a 56 against Madhya Pradesh. Bisht also makes a comeback to the side and is just four shy of a hundred wickets in ODIs.

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Teenager Shafali Verma, who will be part of The Hundred as well as Women’s Big Bash League, has been named in the Test and ODI squad as well. She was not selected in the ODI team against South Africa, which was one of the talking points. Seam bowling allrounder Pooja Vastrakar, who has regained full fitness, returns to the setup in all formats. She had scored 222 runs and picked up eight wickets in the Senior One Day Tournament.

Simran Dil Bahadur, who made an impression start to internationals against South Africa, retains her T20I spot and so does Richa Ghosh. Women’s CricZone understands that Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who returned 13 wickets across formats against the Proteas – including a player of the match performance in the final T20I, is recovering from a bout of COVID-19 and hence has been left out of the squads.

After the Test in Bristol, England and India will play three ODIs followed by three T20Is. The series comes to an end in Chelmsford on July 15.

Test and ODI Squad: Mithali Raj (c), Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur (vc), Punam Raut, Priya Punia, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Sneh Rana, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Indrani Roy (wk), Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav.

T20I Squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (c) Smriti Mandhana (vc), Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Richa Ghosh, Harleen Deol, Sneh Rana, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Indrani Roy (wk), Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav, Simran Dil Bahadur

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