Series Preview: Challenger Trophy, India – 2018
Nine out of ten times, it’s always interesting when you play opposite a world-class opposition, be it England, Australia or South Africa. But it’s nervy and incredibly unique on every single count when you play amid yourselves, opposite your own teammates.
While a Women’s IPL may be somewhere in the imminent future, through tournaments like the Women’s Challenger T20 Trophy, the Indian talents can get a chance to lift their game being pitted against one another.
Brace yourselves for diving catches, nagging pace and accuracy, sharp turns and crafty boundaries and big heaves for the BCCI’s Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy is here.
From August 14, all roads in Karnataka will lead to Alur. For that is where the attention of the cricketing contingent in India will rest, the focal point responsible for pitting names like Mithali Raj against a Deepti Sharma versus a Veda Krishnamurthy in an all-encompassing T20 series.
The road ahead for India may seem a stiff uphill climb as the team (under the leadership of Harmanpreet) will prepare to challenge the mighty names in the sport in the forthcoming ICC World T20 to be held in the Caribbean later this year.
To that regard, what could be possibly better than getting some exciting and valuable game preparation by playing amongst one’s own colleagues? That is precisely where the relative importance of competitions like the Women’s Challenger Trophy increases multifold.
When you play as a unit against world-beating names such as Stafanie Taylor, Suzie Bates, Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry, Tammy Beaumont, Mignon Du Preez, Javeria Khan and the likes- you attempt to strengthen your game according to the opposition’s weaknesses.
But when you compete amid yourselves, you know where to lift your game and alleviate the shortcomings. Series such as the Women’s Challenger Trophy help galvanize forces in that regard.
For starters, 3 teams boasting of incredibly talented players who’ve made it big in international cricket and successfully so squaring against one another is a fine prospect for competition in itself. Moreover, when you see a Mithali being bowled to by Deepti and a Veda Krishnamurthy being challenged by Anuja Patil and the likes, it aligns one’s strengths against one’s own opponents.
One of the highlights of the said competition would be to see Sushma Verma- amongst the most talented wicketkeeping-batswomen- in the game don the gloves again and hoist a few strikes.
The three captains, Mithali Raj, Deepti Sharma and Veda Krishnamurthy will lead India Blue, India Red and India Green, respectively. Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur will miss the tournament as they are in England playing the Women’s Cricket Super League.
A week-long tournament shall feature a squad of 13 for each teams competing for a thrill-fest spread over 20-overs.
The teams are as follows:
Deepti Sharma (C), Punam Raut, Disha Kasat, Mona Meshram, Harleen Deol, Tanusree Sarkar, Ekta Bisht, TP Kanwer, Shikha Pandey, Shannti Kumari, Reemalaxmi Ekka, Nuzhat Parween, Aditi Sharma
Mithali Raj (C), Vanitha VR, Dayalan Hemalatha, Neha Tanwar, Anuja Patil, Taniya Bhatia, Radha Yadav, Preeti Bose, Poonam Yadav, Mansi Joshi, Suman Gulia
Veda Krishnamurthy (C), Jemimah Rodrigues, Priya Punia, Devika Vaidya, Monikha Das, Arundhati Reddy, Sushma Verma, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Fatima Jaffer, Sushree Pradhan, Sukanya Parida, Jhulan Goswami, Sajeevan Sajana