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Fit-again Rodrigues returns to T20I squad for Women’s Asia Cup

Fit-again Jemimah Rodrigues has returned to India’s 15-man T20I squad for the Women’s Asia Cup to be held in Bangladesh from 1-15. October.
Rodrigues missed the ongoing England tour due to a wrist injury she sustained during her stint at the Women’s Hundred with the Northern Superchargers. Since her return, Rodrigues has undergone three weeks of rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.

Rodrigues’ inclusion is the only addition to the squad that lost 2-1 in the T20I series against England. Richa Ghosh, who impressed with her lowest knock during the series, retains her place as the frontline wicketkeeper.

It meant that Taniya Bhatia, who was the first-choice wicketkeeper at the Commonwealth Games and did not get a game in the T20Is against England, has been transferred to the standby list along with medium pacer Simran Bahadur. Hard-hitting top-order batsman Kiran Prabhu Navgire, who made his debut during the England series, retains his place in the squad led by Harmanpreet Kaur.

Meghna Singh and Renuka Singh are the two frontline seamers, with all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar being the third seam. India’s spin stocks, meanwhile, are considerably varied. They have two left-arm spinners in Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Radha Yadav, while Sneh Rana and Deepti Sharma, both all-rounders, offer right-arm variety.

The Women’s Asia Cup returns after a gap of four years. The seven-team tournament will be played in a round-robin format, with each team playing six matches in the league stage before the top four advance to the semi-finals.

India begin their campaign on the opening day (October 1) against Sri Lanka before taking on Malaysia and debutants UAE on October 3 and 4 respectively. They will then play Pakistan and Bangladesh on October 7 and 8 before rounding off their league fixtures against Thailand on October 10.

All matches will be held in Sylhet, where India last played during the T20 World Cup in 2014. Bangladesh are the current defending champions, having beaten India in a last-ball thriller in 2018 in Kuala Lumpur.

India squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Deepti Sharma, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, S Meghana, Richa Ghosh (wk), Sneh Rana, Dayalan Hemalatha, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh, Pooja Vastrawarikar, Rajesh , Radha Yadav , Kiran Navgire. Standby players: Taniyaa Sapna Bhatia, Simran Dil Bahadur

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