INDW vs ENGW | One-off Test: Know your debutants

Somya Kapoor

Somya Kapoor

Author| Jun 13, 1:33 PM

Photo Credits: Twitter
Photo Credits: Twitter

The Indian women’s team will be a part of a historic moment when the side will face England in Bristol in a one-off Test slated to begin on June 16. Earlier, BCCI secretary Jay Shah had confirmed the fixture along with three ODIs and as many T20Is with the tour concluding on July 15 in Chelmsford. 

The women’s team last featured in a Test in the year 2014/15 when they hosted South Africa while playing against England in 2014 in Wormsley. The Mithali Raj-led side won the match by 6 wickets eventually. 

Opening batter Smriti Mandhana, Punam Raut, Mithali, Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey are some of the faces who played in the last encounter against the English side seven years back. 

While there are a few known faces in the squad, there are players who haven’t played a Test for India. Here we take a look at the players who might be playing their first match for the country in a longer format. 

Priya Punia

India batter Priya Punia made her T20I debut in February 2019 against New Zealand in Wellington and made her first appearance in the ODI format in the same year in October against South Africa. The right-hander has since played 7 ODIs and three T20Is respectively. Punia has notched up 225 runs in ODIs at an average of 37.50 which includes a couple of half-centuries. 

The Indian cricketer recently suffered a huge loss after her mother succumbed to Covid-19. Priya had earlier revealed that her mother was pretty excited about her selection and wanted her to play for the country. 

“My mother always wanted me to play for the country and she was really excited with my selection to the Indian team for the England tour. So, I will travel to Mumbai from Jaipur tomorrow and go into quarantine. These are tough times for sure, but my mom always wanted me to focus on my game, and I will do that even now,” the 24-year-old Punia told Sportstar.

Deepti Sharma

All-rounder Deepti Sharma has been a part of the Indian setup in the limited-overs format for quite sometime now. Deepti has played 58 ODIs and 51 T20Is respectively for the country. She made her ODI debut back in 2014 against South Africa while playing her first T20I against Australia a couple of years later in 2016. 

Sharma has been a consistent performer for the national side in both the formats. She has scored over 1400 runs at an average of 39.15 in ODIs and has scalped 65 wickets so far. In T20Is, Deepti has bagged 54 wickets at an economy of 6.06 and has 433 runs to her name so far. 

Sharma was involved in the highest ODI partnership in women’s cricket with Poonam Raut when the two added 320 runs for the first wicket against Ireland in 2017 in Potchefstroom.

Deepti’s only ODI hundred came in this match after she scored 188 before getting out to Rachel Delaney. She later picked up a wicket as well in the match as India won the game by 249 runs. 

Jemimah Rodrigues

Jemimah Rodrigues is probably one of the finest batters that the Indian team has in the present time. Rodrigues stroke-play has earned her good recognition especially in the shorter format of the game. The right-handed batter has played 47 T20I matches scoring 976 runs at a strike-rate of 111.16 including six half-centuries. 

Jemimah has also been capped 19 times in ODIs where she has notched up 382 runs. 

She became a part of ‘The Hundred’ recently and will play for Northern Superchargers in the competition. 

Shafali Verma

Opening India batter Shafali Verma etched her name in the record book after she became the youngest Indian cricketer to score fifty in international cricket. 

She surpassed former India batsman Sachin Tendulkar’s 30-year-old record after scoring 73 runs in 49 balls against West Indies in a T20I in 2019. 

Shafali achieved the feat at 15 years and 285 days and went past Tendulkar’s who attained it at the age of 16 years and 214 days.

Since her T20I debut in 2019, Verma has played 22 matches and has scored 617 runs at an impressive average of 29.38 and a strike-rate of over 148. 

Sneh Rana

Sneh Rana has played 7 ODIs and 5 T20Is for the team. She has scored 27 runs in the five T20Is that she has featured in at an average of 27. 

Taniya Bhatia

The wicket-keeper batter Taniya Bhatia is an experienced player when it comes to the shortest format of the game. Bhatia has been capped 50 times in T20Is and 15 times in ODIs. 

She has 44 stumpings and 23 catches to her name in the T20Is. Bhatia in a conversation with The Indian Express had said that she looks up to MS Dhoni and gets inspired by his wicket-keeping skills behind the stumps. 

“There is absolutely no comparison but it is flattering when people say they can see a glimpse of him in me. In fact, it inspires me to work harder. I look up to him and his hand-eye coordination is admirable,” she said.

Indrani Roy

Indrani Roy is another Indian player who cites MS Dhoni as her role model. Roy got an opportunity to get a few lessons from the former India captain during a training session in Ranchi. 

“During a training session in Ranchi sometime last year, I had a long conversation with Mahi Sir about how to improve my game and he had told me that I should ensure that I improve my reflexes and movement in the five-metre radius. For wicketkeepers, that’s a key thing and he advised me that I should try and get better. That actually helped me,” Indrani told Sportstar.

She started her cricketing career at the age of 15 and played for Bengal U19 before getting signed by Jharkhand in 2014. In the 2020-21 domestic season, Indrani finished as the highest run-getter in Senior Women's One Day League. 

Pooja Vastrakar

Pooja Vastrakar has featured in 20 T20Is and 6 ODIs for Indian women’s team. She has 16 wickets to her name in the shorter format of the game while has a half-century in ODIs. 

Pooja made headlines earlier this year after scoring two double tons on the trot in a One Day tournament organised by the MPCA. 

Arundhati Reddy

Arundhati Reddy has played three T20Is for India where she has picked 17 wickets at an economy of 7.88. 

Radha Yadav

A consistent performer in the T20I format of the game, Radha Yadav has donned the Indian jersey in 37 matches and has 51 wickets to her name. During the T20I series against South Africa Radha notched up a distinguished record when she became the player with a wicket in most consecutive innings in Women T20Is.

With some talented young cricketers and experienced players in the ranks, India women’s team can have a successful run in England. 

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