There were no major surprises in store as the BCCI on Friday named a 15-member Indian squad led by Harmanpreet Kaur for the upcoming Women’s Asia Cup T20 to be held in Malaysia.
The tournament featuring India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, and hosts Malaysia will be held from June 1-11. All teams will play each other, after which the top two teams in the points table will qualify for the final.
There was only one change from the squad that was named for the recent T20I tri-series featuring Australia and England, with veteran pacer Rumeli Dhar making way for Rajeshwari Gayakwad. India lost three matches out of the four they played in that series, and failed to reach the final.
Mandhana, who was in fine form during the entire home season, continues as the vice-captain, while youngster Jemimah Rodrigues also retained her place in the squad that features the usual suspects.
India boast a phenomenal record in the tournament, having won it six times. They are the defending champions as well, having won the trophy in 2016 in Bangkok after going through the competition undefeated.
In the final, the Women in Blue triumphed by a margin of 17 runs against arch-rivals Pakistan with Mithali Raj being named player of the match and player of the tournament as she scored 220 runs at an average of 110.
It was India’s sixth victory in the tournament, and strengthened their dominance of the ACC-organised event that stretches back to 2004.
Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Mithali Raj, Veda Krishnamurthy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Anuja Patil, Deepti Sharma Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Mona Meshram