Shafali Verma, Shikha Pandey, Ekta Bisht and Taniya Bhatia have been named in the 21-member India Women squad for the upcoming seven-match tour of England. The uncapped Jharkhand wicketkeeper-batter Indrani Roy has earned her maiden international call-up, while Sneh Rana, who made the last of her 12 India appearances back in February 2016, returns to the squad.
Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad, meanwhile, has been left-out. It is understood she is recovering from Covid-19.
Seam-bowling allrounder Pandey, left-arm spinner Bisht and wicketkeeper-batter Bhatia, who were both left out of the squads for the ODI and T20I series at home against South Africa, have been picked for all formats, as has Verma, who has earned her maiden call-ups to the Test and ODI squads
Roy was the leading run-scorer in the Senior One Day Trophy 2020-21, her 456 runs – at an average of 76.00 and a strike rate of 86.52 – being the only tally in excess of 400 this year. Rana, the Railways offspin-bowling allrounder, topped the wicket charts with 18 strikes at an average of 12.66, while scoring 160 runs at a strike rate of 123.07 in the middle order.
A four-member pace contingent has been picked for the T20Is as well as for the consolidated squads for the Test and ODIs. Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar and Arundhati Reddy have been named in both squads while Simran Dil Bahadur, who made her international debut during the South Africa series, replaces Jhulan Goswami, who retired from the shortest format in 2018, in the T20I squad.
Among the 18-member consolidated Test and ODI squad, only eight – Mithali Raj, the ODI captain, Harmanpreet Kaur, the T20I captain, Punam Raut, Jhulan Goswami, Smriti Mandhana, Shikha Pandey, Poonam Yadav and Ekta Bisht, – have played a Test before.
Bhatia will mostly likely be handed the gloves for the Test, India’s first assignment in the longest format in nearly seven years, while Roy could make her debut in the limited-overs leg.
ESPNcricinfo understands that BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah followed the virtual selection meeting that involved the five-member selection panel, led by Neetu David, and Ramesh Powar, who replaced WV Raman as head coach on Thursday.
Sushma Verma, Sweta Verma and Nuhat Parween, the three wicketkeepers in the limited-overs squads during the South Africa series, have been left out. From that assignment, Monica Patel, C Prathyusha, Mansi Joshi, Yastika Bhatia and D Hemalatha have also not found a place in the touring party to England.
The tour kicks off on June 16 with a one-off Test in Bristol and concludes with the third and final T20I on July 15. A three-match ODI series is also slotted in between.
Test & ODI squad: Mithali Raj (capt), Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur (vc), Punam Raut, Priya Punia, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Sneh Rana, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Indrani Roy (wk), Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav.
T20I squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (capt), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Richa Ghosh, Harleen Deol, Sneh Rana, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Indrani Roy (wk), Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav, Simaran Dil Bahadur.
Annesha Ghosh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @ghosh_annesha