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Ind vs Aus – Women’s T20I Series

All-rounders Pooja Vastrakar and Sneh Rana will miss the five-match T20I series against Australia from December 10 at home. Although the BCCI release the squad announced said that Vastrakar was unavailable due to an unspecified injury, it did not give a reason for Rana’s absence.

There was also a first national call-up for Railways left arm Anjali Sarvani, who was the leading wicket taker in the Inter-State Women’s T20s, with 17 wickets at an average of 5.70 and an economic rate of 3.34, and the leading wicket taker in the Interzonal T20s, with 10 wickets at 10.80 and 4.50.

Also forcing her way back into national contention eight years after playing her only T20I was all-rounder Devika Vaidya. The 25-year-old was previously part of the national squad for the T20 World Cup in 2018 but did not get a game. She last played for India in an ODI home series against England in April 2018.

Vaidya is primarily a batter, but gives the team some flexibility with her ability to catch up with legspin. In the Inter-State T20s, she scored 130 runs in five innings at an average of 32.50 and a strike rate of 109.24, apart from picking up six wickets.

With India seemingly continuing to focus on grooming young fast bowlers, Shikha Pandey misses despite a strong performance in the Inter-State T20s where she took 11 wickets at an average of 10.90 and an economy rate of 4.28. The pace attack will be spearheaded by Renuka Thakur, who will be joined by Meghna Singh and Sarvani.

With Rana absent, in all likelihood due to a minor hiccup – she took seven wickets in six matches at the Women’s Asia Cup, India’s most recent T20I assignment – the roster includes three spin bowling regulars – all-rounders Deepti Sharma and Radha Yadav as well as left arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad.

Yastika Bhatia is likely to be back-up wicket-keeper to Richa Ghosh. Batters D Hemalatha and Kiran Navgire, who were part of the Asian Cup, are omitted.

Monika Patel, Arundhati Reddy, SB Pokharkar and Simran Bahadur have been called up as net bowlers.

The five-game series that begins on December 10 will be played entirely in Mumbai. DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai will host the first two games before the series moves to Brabourne Stadium, a venue where Australia won the 2013 50-overs World Cup.

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