Smriti Mandhana will lead the Indian team for the three-match T20I series against England, the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced on Monday.
With regular T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur not yet fully recovering from her ankle injury, the youngster will lead India for the first time. Mandhana will also become India’s youngest T20I captain.
The left-handed opener has been rewarded with the T20 captaincy after being India’s most consistent batter over the past year. The 22-year-old has got a hundred and four fifties in her last ten international games.
Four changes have been made to India’s T20I squad that lost three-nil to New Zealand earlier this month. Komal Zanzad, Bharti Fulmali, Harleen Deol and Veda Krishnamurty have been included in place of Harmanpreet Kaur, Dayalan Hemalatha, Mansi Joshi and Priya Punia.
Mandhana was also the captain of the Board President XI during a practice match against England earlier this month.
Team India defeated England by seven wickets in the second ODI on Monday to complete a two-nil series win at the Wankhede Stadium with one game to go. Mandhana was the top-scorer for the hosts on Monday, anchoring the innings with 63 runs from 74 deliveries.
Regular T20I captain Kaur, though, has not yet fully recovered from her ankle injury and will continue her rehab at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
India will play three T20Is against England, all of them in Guwahati. The first match will be played on March 4, followed by games on March 7 and 9.
India’s squad for the T20I series against England
Smriti Mandhana [captain], Mithali Raj, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia [wicketkeeper], Bharti Fulmali, Anuja Patil, Shikha Pandey, Komal Zanzad, Arundhati Reddy, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav, Veda Krishnamurty, Harleen Deol.