Indian Women will kickstart their England tour of 2021 with the Test Match vs England Women. This would be India's maiden appearance in Test cricket in nearly seven years. India's Women played their last Test match in 2014 against the same opponent. The Women's Test match will also be followed by a limited-overs series comprising three ODIs and three T20Is between the two world heavyweights.
Among all other encounters, the one-off Test match is stimulating the interest of the mainstream. Moreover, it will be a gritty battle for the inexperienced team as most girls will be making their maiden red-ball appearance for India. The onus will be on the experienced likes of skipper Mithali Raj, evergreen Jhulan Goswami, and the explosive Harmanpreet Kaur to guide the debutants. It will be baggage of thrill and assortment for the energetic Indian team.
Indian Women’s Squad For One-off Test Match Against England
BCCI has already announced the 18-player squad for the England series in 2021. The 17-year old Shafali Verma, who has performed incredibly well in the shortest format of cricket for India, also earned a spot in the Indian Women squad for the Test match vs England Women. Here's the complete India Women squad for the 2021 tour of England:
Mithali Raj (Captain), Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), Punam Raut, Priya Punia, Deepti Sharma, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Sneh Rana, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Indrani Roy (wicket-keeper), Jhulan Goswami, Pooja Vastrakar, Shikha Pandey, Punam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav.
India Women strongest Playing XI for the Test Match against England Women
1. Openers: Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues
The admired openers Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues are likely to make way in India Women strongest playing XI against England Women for the one-off Test. However, management may experiment with Shafali Verma, a robust 17-year-old girl who has impressed the cricket fraternity with her destructive batting in T20. Yet, the chances are soft for Verma as there will be a one-off Test match and most probably Mandhana and Rodrigues will be curtain-raisers.
2. Middle-Order: Punam Raut, Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur
India Women's team has an impressive middle-order lineup comprising Punam Raut, Mitahli Raj, and Harmanpreet Kaur. They are the cornerstone of the batting line-up and fans will expect a promising performance from the Indian trio. The middle-order could be the difference between victory and loss for the Indian Women's team.
3. All-Rounders: Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, and Taniya Bhatia (Wicket-Keeper)
India boasts of some experienced international in their all-rounders' department. Deepti Sharma will be the most prominent one. She will get support from medium seamer Shikha Pandey. Taniya Bhatia is likely to take the wicketkeeper role, however, she will get tough competition from emerging uncapped Indrani Roy.
4. Bowlers: Jhulan Goswami, Punam Yadav, and Ekta Bisht
The evergreen Jhulan Goswami will lead the Indian bowling department against England. She will get assistance from the two wily spinners in form of Punam Yadav and Ekta Bisht. Historically, the Indian bowling line-up has been heavily dependent on their slow bowlers. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how they will adapt to England's conditions. Furthermore, along with the probable starters, India has a decent bench strength that includes Radha Yadav, Pooja Vastrakar, and Arundhati Reddy.