Fit-again Jemimah Rodrigues has returned to India’s 15-member T20I squad for the Women’s Asia Cup to be held in Bangladesh from October 1-15.
Rodrigues missed the ongoing England tour because of a wrist injury that she picked up during her stint at the Women’s Hundred with Northern Superchargers. Since her return, Rodrigues has undergone three weeks of rehab at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
Rodrigues’ inclusion is the only addition to the squad that lost 2-1 in the T20I series against England. Richa Ghosh, who impressed with her lower-order hitting during the series, retains her place as the frontline wicketkeeper.
That meant Taniya Bhatia, who was the first choice wicketkeeper at the Commonwealth Games and didn’t get a game in the T20Is against England, has been consigned to the standby list along with medium-pacer Simran Bahadur. Hard-hitting top-order bat Kiran Prabhu Navgire, who made her debut during the England series, retains her place in the squad led by Harmanpreet Kaur.
Meghna Singh and Renuka Singh are the two frontline seamers, with allrounder Pooja Vastrakar being the third-seam option. India’s spin stocks, meanwhile, are significantly varied. They have two left-arm spinners in Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Radha Yadav, while Sneh Rana and Deepti Sharma, both allrounders, offering right-arm variety.
The Women’s Asia Cup is returning after a four-year gap. The seven-team tournament will be played in a round-robin format, with each team playing six matches in the league phase, before the top four advance to the semi-finals.
India begin their campaign on the opening day (October 1) against Sri Lanka, before taking on Malaysia and debutants UAE on October 3 and October 4 respectively. They will then play Pakistan and Bangladesh on October 7 and 8 before rounding off their league engagements against Thailand on October 10.
All matches will be held in Sylhet, where India last played during the T20 World Cup in 2014. Bangladesh are the current defending champions, having beaten India in a last-ball thriller in 2018 in Kuala Lumpur.
India squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Deepti Sharma, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, S Meghana, Richa Ghosh (wk), Sneh Rana, Dayalan Hemalatha, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Radha Yadav, Kiran Navgire. Standby players: Taniya Bhatia, Simran Bahadur