The India Women’s Cricket team, led by Harmanpreet Kaur with Smriti Mandhana as the deputy, has been announced for the Bangladesh tour, slated to start on July 9th, 2023. The squad list has sparked a significant amount of surprise and conversation in the cricket world due to the exclusion of several seasoned players.

Three major exclusions from the team were Richa Ghosh, Renuka Singh, and Shreyanka Patil, with their absence prompting speculation over their future in international cricket.

Richa Ghosh, the aggressive wicketkeeper-batter, along with promising off-spinner Shreyanka Patil and seamer Renuka Singh, have been excluded from the squad. Patil, who recently claimed 9 wickets in India’s title victory at the ACC Women’s Emerging Teams Asia Cup, seemed to have a promising international career ahead, but her omission has raised eyebrows.

Other experienced players who failed to make the cut include Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Shikha Pandey, while left-arm spinner Radha Yadav also finds herself out of both squads.

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In contrast, a few fresh faces have been given the chance to shine. Uma Chetry, a 20-year-old wicketkeeper from Assam, has replaced Ghosh in both squads. The selectors have rewarded her recent performances and potential shown in the Emerging Asia Cup where she represented the India A team. The right-handed opening batter, Priya Punia, and left-arm seam bowler, Monica Patel, have made their comebacks. In addition, Anusha Bareddy and Rashi Kanojiya, two left-arm spinners, have earned their first-ever national call-ups, replacing the experienced duo of Yadav and Gayakwad.

While the selection committee’s decisions may seem surprising to some, it’s crucial to consider the wider strategy that might be in play. The selectors could be attempting to groom the next generation of players by exposing them to international cricket at this early stage. While the future of the excluded players is uncertain, it’s crucial to remember that form and fitness are cyclical in sports, and these players could have the chance to make a return to the squad in the future. The upcoming series against Bangladesh, therefore, promises to be as much about the development of new talent as it is about the competition itself.

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