The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have announced the Team India squad for the upcoming series against South Africa. While six new players have earned their maiden call-up, veterans like Shikha Pandey, Veda Krishnamurthy, Ekta Bisht, Anuja Patil and Tania Bhatia have been dropped.

Prathyusha Challuru, Monica Patel, Swetha Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Simran Dil Bahadur and Ayushi Soni are the new faces in the squad. All the names are quite regular in their respective state teams. While Ayushi Soni and Yastika Bhatia are known for their batting, Prathyusha is a well-known spinner of her state team – Karnataka. She even featured for India A team during their game against Australia A team way back in 2018.

Notably, Ayushi Soni was one of the new faces who was added to the squad during the Women’s T20 Challenge last year in the UAE. Even the India T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur also praised her at that time. “I guess Ayushi Soni is doing very well, she has done very well in the domestic also,” HArmanpreet Kaur said. “She is someone who has really impressed us.”

Meanwhile, one addition has really surprised many was Sushma Verma. The first choice wicketkeeper of India was replaced by Tania Bhatia a few years back. However, it seems her hard work and a great show with the bat in the Women’s T20 Challenge last year helped her to return to the squad. She has been added to both ODI and T20I team.

While Mithali Raj will lead the team in the 50-overs format, Harmanpreet Kaur will lead the team in the T20I format. Kaur and Smriti Mandhana will be the deputy in the ODI and T20I teams respectively. Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow is all set to host the limited-overs series between India and South Africa. The eight-match series includes five One Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals as well, starting from March 7.

ODI Squad: Mithali Raj (Captain), Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Punam Raut, Priya Punia, Yastika Bhatia, Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), Dayalan Hemalatha, Deepti Sharma, Sushma Verma (wicket-keeper), Swetha Verma (wicket-keeper), Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Poonam Yadav, Challuru Prathyusha, Monica Patel

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

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