Veda Krishnamurthy dropped, Priya Punia called up for New Zealand tour
India middle-order batsman Veda Krishnamurthy has been dropped from both limited-overs squads for the New Zealand tour in January 2019, following a long run that yielded below-par scores since a reasonably impressive South Africa tour in February. Batsman Mona Meshram has replaced her in the ODI squad, while quick-bowling allrounder Shikha Pandey has returned to the T20I squad after being left out for the World T20 last month.
Priya Punia, the 22-year-old Delhi opener, meanwhile, has earned her maiden India call-up, for the T20I squad, on the back of two centuries in the ongoing Senior Women's One-Day League domestic tournament.
Krishnamurthy had five single-digit scores during the World T20, including two unbeaten innings, and despite an 80-run knock for Railways in the One-Day League, her lack of consistency has resulted in exclusion from both sides. That was the only change from the ODI squad that played against Sri Lanka women in September.
Pandey returned to the T20I set-up as a like-for-like replacement for Pooja Vastrakar who underwent an ACL surgery last week following a knee injury she sustained during a warm-up game ahead of the World T20. Devika Vaidya, the top-order left-hand batsman who had replaced Vastrakar in the side, has been dropped owing to her poor form for Maharashtra in the ongoing domestic tournament.
The squads were announced by chief selector Hemlata Kala, following a meeting in Delhi which also had ODI captain Mithali Raj in attendance, and T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur joining in via Skype.
Some of the players included in the two squads will be participating in the three-team senior women's one-day Challenger Trophy in the first week of January, in Mulapadu. Pandey, Punam Raut and Mona Meshram have been named captains for the India Red, Blue and Green sides respectively.
India are scheduled to play three ODIs, starting January 24, and as many T20Is in New Zealand. The ODIs are part of the ICC Women's Championship 2017-2020, while the three T20Is will be double-headers along with the men's T20Is in February.
The tour will be the team's first international assignment under newly appointed head coach WV Raman, who got the job in the aftermath of a mudslinging episode involving former interim head coach Ramesh Powar and Raj.
ODI squad: Mithali Raj (capt), Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-capt), Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Punam Raut, Deepti Sharma, D Hemalatha, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Mona Meshram, Ekta Bisht, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Shikha Pandey
T20I squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (capt), Smriti Mandhana (vice-capt), Mithali Raj, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Anuja Patil, D Hemalatha, Mansi Joshi, Shikha Pandey, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav, Arundhati Reddy, Priya Punia