Sushma Verma to lead BP XI against South Africa

Sushma Verma to lead BP XI against South Africa

Sushma Verma will lead BP XI in the two practice games against South Africa. © Getty Images

Sushma Verma, the 26-year-old, will captain the Board President’s XI squad that will take on South Africa in the two warm-up games in the lead up to the five-match T20I series against India. Verma last played a T20I for India way back in 2016, while her last ODI came in May 2018.

However, since her last stint in the Indian team, the wicket-keeper has worked on her batting, piling on the runs at the domestic level. In the Senior Women's T20 League 2018-19, she averaged a whopping 372 with the bat, staying unbeaten eight out of nine matches in the ten games she played in. Her strike rate was over 110 as well. In the recently concluded Women's T20 Challenge, Verma scored an unbeaten 40 off 32 balls to rescue Velocity from a precarious 37 for 5. She's been recalled keeping in mind the impending ICC Women’s T20 World Cup early next year.

Verma will have a notable deputy in Devika Vaidya, who is also making a comeback to the set-up. She was in the Indian side that played the Women’s World T20 in 2018 as a late replacement for the injured Pooja Vastrakar, who is also selected for these games.

Another interesting selection is that of MD Thirushkamini, the left-handed opener, who last played for India in 2017. The Tamil Nadu cricketer was their leading run-scorer in the domestic T20 series with 207 runs in six matches. She had two fifties to show and an average of 41.40.

Although Karnataka lost in the finals of the tournament, it has brought back Vanitha VR into contention. She had scored 291 runs for them at a strike rate of 136 and a best of 84. She batted with a great deal of authority - her shots down the ground particularly impressive. She hit a whopping 15 sixes - the most by any batter in the tournament.

15-year-old Shafali Verma, who impressed in the Women’s T20 Challenge in May, also finds a place in the team. Apart from them, Priya Punia, Bharti Fulmali and Mansi Joshi also find a spot in the side, while Madhuri Meheta, another international, also returns to the fold.

South Africa travel to India for a five-match T20I and a three-match ODI series. The Lalabhai Contractor Stadium in Surat will play host to the T20I series as well as the two warm-ups that precede them. The warm-ups will be played on Friday (September 20) and Sunday (September 22).

Board President’s XI squad: Sushma Verma (c), Devika Vaidya (vc), Vanitha VR, Shafali Verma, Priya Punia, Jasia Aktar, MD Thirushkamini, Madhuri Mehta, Tarannum Pathan, Sushree Dibyadarshini, Tanuja Kanwar, Bharti Fulmali, Mansi Joshi, Renuka Singh, Pooja Vastrakar

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