Date of Birth12-05-1989
Place of BirthKarimnagar, Goa
Batting StyleRight-hand Bat
Bowling StyleRight-arm medium
Shikha Pandey made her Twenty20 International (T20I) debut on 9 March 2014 against Bangladesh at Cox’s Bazar cricket stadium. In August 2014, she made her (ODI) and Test cricket debut against England at Wormsley and Scarborough respectively.
Along with Cricket, Pandey holds a degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering. In 2011, she joined the Indian Air Force and became an Air traffic controller.
She is the first woman player from Goa to play for the Indian national team. She was also a part of ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2017 finals.
In November 2014, in only her third ODI, Shikha Pandey became the first Indian to take three wickets and score a half-century in the same ODI when she achieved the feat against South Africa in an ODI in Bangalore. After bowling 10 overs on the trot, in which she dismissed Lizelle Lee, Nadine Moodley, and Marizanne Kapp, the allrounder crashed a 56-ball 59, coming in at No.4.
One would’ve hoped that performance served as a launchpad for Pandey to deliver more consistently. However, intermittent opportunities and lack of support meant she was in and out of the line-up, constantly fighting to prove herself.
After a couple of up and down years, in 2016, the fast bowler stepped up to the plate to take charge of the attack. In India’s record-equalling run of 17-consecutive ODI wins, Pandey finished as the team’s second-highest wicket-taker, leading the attack in the absence of Jhulan Goswami in the early part of 2017. She carried that form into the Women’s World Cup in 2017, bowling a brilliant spell of 2 for 17 in the semi-final against Australia.
Her contributions meant she was rewarded a medal of commendation from the Indian Air Force.
2018 was a difficult year for Pandey. While she continued to take wickets in the ODI format, she proved to be a tad expensive and seemed to have suddenly lost the support of the management. She was subsequently dropped for the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean later that year but forced her way back into the setup on the back of excellent performances in the domestic season. She led India Red to victory in the Senior Women’s One-Day Challenger Trophy, where she took a five-for in the final.
A change in the management seemed to bring out the best in Pandey. Handed the new ball once again at the start of 2019, the right-armer took every chance that came her way, combining with Goswami to form a lethal new-ball pairing. In the home series against England that year, the pair combined for eight wickets to give India an easy win.
Pandey’s ODI form meant she soon earned her place back in the T20I team as well and was entrusted with the new ball. A slight tweak in her action and a huge shift in mindset saw her flourish under pressure. She led the attack admirably in the Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia, spearheading their charge through the group stage.
Having burst onto the scene as someone who swings the ball prodigiously, Shikha Pandey has now developed into a more intelligent and rounded bowler. Often criticised of bowling too full even when there was little assistance, she has learned to adjust her plans according to the conditions.
We don’t need to change anything, women’s cricket is going in the right direction, says Bismah MaroofJuly 5, 2020
Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof feels women's cricket could lose its competitiveness if the recently suggested innovations are acted upon.
- July 1, 2020
Earlier, Jemimah Rodrigues and Sophie Devine have suggested reductions in the size of the ball length of the pitch to promote the game.
Please don’t bring the boundaries in: Shikha Pandey pleads against superfluous tweaks to women’s cricketJune 27, 2020
In a series of tweets, Shikha Pandey weighed in on the topic of reducing the length of the pitch as well as the size of the cricket ball.
- June 20, 2020
Despite the extended break that has kept her out of action, Jhulan Goswami says the thought of the 2021 World Cup has kept her motivated.