Opener Punam Raut made a comeback to the Indian squad for the three one-day Internationals against world champions England later this month. R Kalpana, who last played for India three years ago against Sri Lanka, replaced batting all-rounder Dayalan Hemalatha in the squad, and is expected to be Taniya Bhatia’s understudy during the series.
Another batter, Mona Meshram, who also lost her place in the squad last year, has earned a place in the squad. Apart from Raut and Meshram, left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who was part of the squad that reached the World Cup final two years ago, will join the spin attack along with Ekta Bisht and Poonam Yadav.
Veteran Mithali Raj will continue to captain the team, which recently defeated New Zealand in the ODI series but were unsuccessful in the Twenty20 Internationals. All three matches will be played at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium and will be a part of the ICC women’s championship. England recently announced their squad for the three-match series with senior players Sarah Taylor and Katherine Brunt getting a look-in.
The selectors have also picked the Board President’s XI squad that will play a one-day warm-up game prior to the ODI series in Mumbai on 18th February. Mandhana will captain the side.
ODI squad: Mithali Raj (c), Jhulan Goswami, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), R Kalpana (wicket-keeper), Mona Meshram, Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Mansi Joshi, Punam Raut.
Board President’s XI: Smriti Mandhana (c), Veda Krishnamurthy, Devika Vaidya, S Meghana, Bharati Fulmali, Komal Zanzad, R Kalpana, Priya Punia, Harleen Deol, Reemalaxmi Ekka, Manali Dakshini, Minnu Mani, Tanuja Kanwar