HomeNewsHarmanpreet Kaur Reveals Reasons Behind Shikha Pandey's Recall

Harmanpreet Kaur Reveals Reasons Behind Shikha Pandey’s Recall

Shikha Pandey has been recalled to the side that will play the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup and the tri-series prior to it. The 32-year-old pacer played her last match for India in October 2021. Since then, the BCCI has tried out many young bowlers in her place. However, prior to the world cup, the selectors have brought back the experienced Shikha who will be a handful in the South African conditions.

Prior to the world cup in South Africa, the Proteas will host India and West Indies in a T20I series. This tournament will give the three teams some great practice ahead of the world event. Shikha is expected to play a crucial role in the tri-series and the world cup after having an excellent time in the domestic circuit.

Shikha picked up 11 wickets in the women’s domestic T20 tournament at an impressive economy rate of 4.28

What worked for Shikha Pandey?

Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur gave three reasons why Shikha was brought back into the Indian setup. Experience, the conditions in South Africa, and good performances in the domestic circuit are some of the things that have worked in favour of Shikha.

“Well, as you know she is a very experienced bowler,” Harmanpreet said. “Another reason was we are playing in South Africa, and South Africa is a place that is more friendly to the pacers. So we wanted to strengthen our medium pacers (attack). You have seen us playing with more spinners. But now we are in South Africa, we need more pace bowling options and that was the reason we brought her back. And she has done really well in the domestic season.

“She is someone who can swing the ball in the Powerplay. She is experienced to bowl in the death overs also. Now we have had a couple of practice sessions, and we have given her different types of scenarios where she can go and execute herself. And the game-plan… we will discuss which areas she is more comfortable to go about. Because after a long time, she is going to play,” the Indian captain added.

Who will open with Smriti Mandhana?

Regular opener Shafali Verma and wicket-keeper Richa Ghosh are playing in the inaugural ICC Women’s Under-19 World Cup. They will miss the tri-series but return had of the T20 World Cup.

India will have to find an opening partner for Smriti Mandhana. According to Harmanpreet, Yastika Bhatia and Sabbhineni Meghana are a couple of options that she is pondering.

“Well, we have a couple of options. Meghana is also there, Yastika is also a very good option for us. I think we will sit and discuss. Everybody is looking in good touch, whoever is batting in the nets is really doing well. We have to take a call, whoever is going to open with Smriti as Shafali is not there. I’m really happy that we have a couple of options. As a captain, you need that type of competition, where you have to think really hard to pick a XI.”

Star all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar is also returning from an injury. Harmanpreet revealed that Vastrakar is looking good in the net sessions. However, a call will be taken on her inclusion only after discussing with the physio.

“She is with us. She has been doing really well in the nets… the last call physio can give you better than me. But what I can see… she is batting well, she is bowling well. Before making the final XI, we just need to have a chat with her, physio… how she is? What type of workload do we have to manage? She is doing everything in all the departments and is someone who is very important to the side.”

Harmanpreet Kaur praises Troy Cooley for giving valuable tips to the bowlers

Fast bowling coach at the NCA – Troy Cooley has travelled with the squad to South Africa. He has experience working with the English and Australian men’s national teams.

According to Harmapreet, Cooley is sharing some valuable tips with the fast bowlers. The right-handed batter expects Cooley’s tips to hold the pace bowlers in good stead in the upcoming assignments.

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