When she came to bat at no 6 at Worsmley, India were still 68 runs away from a historic win. Shikha Pandey got Indian captain Mithali Raj on the other side, but they needed to build a partnership then. Both Mithali Raj and she survived the remaining overs of the 3rd day and came back on the next morning.
Both of them added unbeaten 68 runs for the 5th wicket and guided India’s first-ever victory in their first appearance in 8 years. India fielded 8 debutants and she was one of them. While Mithali scored unbeaten 51, her contribution of 28 in 106 balls in a lush green pitch, is also worth mentioning.
A test cap is always special for anyone representing her nation and it has been an incredible journey for an engineer and an Indian Air Force officer in Indian colour. Shikha Pandey made her debut in 2014 in all the formats and became the regular member for the Indian side. Jhulan Goswami was looking for her new bowling partner and she filled the gap in One day and T-20 formats.
And from her debut in 2014, she is the highest wicket-taker for India in ODI with 73 scalps at an average of 21.
Top 3 wicket-takers for India after her debut in ODI (21/8/2014-5/12/2020)
|Player||Innings||Overs||Runs Conceded||Wickets Taken||Best||Average||Economy||Strike Rate||4/5-fers|
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But which is more important is her role, after the retirement of Jhulan Goswami in the team. She was dropped from the 2018 T-20 World Cup in Carrebean but she took the opportunity to remould herself and come back strong. She took the responsibility to lead the seam bowling attack and picked up 17 wickets after the 2018 World Cup. Apart from the wicket tally, her economy has declined. (From 6.51 to 6.23)
Apart from the opening spells she gave her skipper much assurance in the death overs in the recently concluded ICC World T-20. Alongside her international appearances, she is the skipper of Goa and helped her team to win the Senior Women One day Championship in 2017/2018, defeating Bengal in Final in the Plate Group.
Shikha Pandey took her career-best figures against England(4/18) in ODI in 2019, which lead to Indian victory by 7 wickets and her best in T-20 came against Australia, where too, India defeated Australia in the opening of ICC World T-20 in 2020.
With 850 International runs and 113 scalps, Shikha Pandey was born on this day.
She turns 31 today.