It's official. India women's cricket team will return to international action for the first time in a year as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the fixtures for limited-overs series against South Africa women. India will play 5 ODIs and 3 T20Is in Lucknow from March 7 to 23.
Mithali Raj has been named as the captain of the ODI team while Harmanpreet Kaur will lead the T20I team against South Africa at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana International Stadium in Lucknow.'
The ODI and T20I squads have some notable absentees as India women will be without the likes of Shikha Pandey, Veda Krishnamurthy, Ekta Bisht and Taniya Bhatia.
India women were not involved in any competitive international action since the final of the Women's T20 World Cup in Melbourne on March 8. India players featured in the 4-match Women's T20 Challenge which was held alongside the Indian Premier League 2020 play-offs in the UAE. Mithali Raj, Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur lead 3 teams as they played their matches in Sharjah.
The resumption of India women's international cricket in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic comes at a crucial time as the team will be looking to have as much match practice before next year's 50-over Women's World Cup in February.
Thiruvananthapuram was initially chosen as the venue for the series but the Kerala Cricket Association had expressed its inability to host the matches. Players from both teams will be in quarantine and a bio-bubble environment will be in place during the limited-overs series.
India Women's squad for ODI series: Mithali Raj (Captain), Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Punam Raut, Priya Punia, Yastika Bhatia, Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), D. Hemalatha, Deepti Sharma, Sushma Verma (wicket-keeper), Swetha Verma (wicket-keeper), Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Poonam Yadav, C. Prathyusha, Monica Patel.
India Women's T20I squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh, Harleen Deol, Sushma Verma (wicket-keeper), Nuzhat Parveen (wicket-keeper), Ayushi Soni, Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Mansi Joshi, Monica Patel, C. Prathyusha, Simran Dil Bahadur.
India women vs South Africa women full schedule
1st ODI on March 7
2nd ODI on March 9
3rd ODI on March 12
4th ODI on March 14
5th ODI on March 17
1st T20I on March 20
2nd T20I on March 21
3rd T20I on March 23