Teenaged Vastrakar pips experienced Pandey in India's World T20 squad
Seam-bowling allrounder Pooja Vastrakar has returned from an ankle injury to be picked in India's 15-member squad for the upcoming World T20 in the Caribbean while the more experienced quick-bowling allrounder Shikha Pandey has been left out. This marked the only change from the touring party that swept Sri Lanka 4-0 in the recently concluded T20I series to go with their 2-1 ODI series win.
Pandey's exclusion came as a follow-up to India's preferred selection choices during the Sri Lanka tour in which she sat out the entire T20I series and played only one of the three ODIs. The team management had tasked Mansi Joshi and 19-year-old pace-bowling allrounder Arundhati Reddy with shepherding the pace attack in the T20Is that was without the recently retired Jhulan Goswami.
India also opted to head into the tournament without a proper back-up wicketkeeper for 20-year-old Taniya Bhatia, who impressed with the bat and the gloves during the Sri Lanka tour. Veda Krishnamurthy, who has one stumping to her name in international cricket, is the only other player with some wicketkeeping experience in the squad.
Harmanpreet Kaur retained captaincy, despite questions over her on-field choices and selection calls in recent times. In a tri-series at home, involving Australia and England in March this year, India had suffered an early exit. In the subsequent Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur in June, India relinquished the title to Bangladesh, having lost to them twice in the tournament.
India are pooled in Group B in the World T20, with Australia, Ireland, Pakistan and New Zealand, and will kick off the tournament on November 9, against New Zealand.
Squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (capt), Smriti Mandhana (vice-capt), Mithali Raj, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wicketkeeper), Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Anuja Patil, Ekta Bisht, D Hemalatha, Mansi Joshi, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy