Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur were retained as captains of the ODI and Twenty20 squads respectively for India’s tour of New Zealand which will begin in January. The series will be the first assignment for new coach WV Raman, who was appointed on Thursday after he piped Gary Kirsten, the former India men’s cricket team coach. India will play three ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals and the squad sees the omission of Veda Krishnamurthy, who has been suffering from poor scores. In the last eight Twenty20 Internationals, Krishnamurthy’s scores have been 11*, 8, 11*, 3, 2*,8*, 9,3,8. Her poor run in the World T20 tournament in West Indies in 2018 increased pressure on her.
Mona Meshram replaced Veda in the ODI squad while two changes were made in the squad that went to the West Indies for the World T20. The New Zealand tour will be the team's first assignment after its controversial exit from the World T20 last month when it lost to England in the semi-finals. Gary Kirsten was ahead of Raman in the pecking order but the former India men's coach was not ready to give up on his role with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. The BCCI had invited fresh applications after Ramesh Powar's term ended on November 30, following the World T20 loss in which he and Harmanpreet had collectively decided to drop senior player Mithali for the all-important semifinal, triggering a massive controversy.
The women's team stood divided with Harmanpreet and her T20 deputy Smriti Mandhana backing Powar for an extension while Mithali was against such a move. However, both Harmanpreet and Mithali had agreed on sorting out their differences going forward.
Harmanpreet is currently playing the Big Bash League for the Sydney Thunder while Mithali will be aiming to continue her good form in both ODIs and T20Is.
ODI Squad: Mithali Raj (captain), Poonam Raut, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Tanya Bhatia (wk), Mona Meshram, Ekta Bist, Mansi Joshi, Dayalan Hemlatha, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey.
T20 Squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Mithali Raj, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Anuja Patil, Dayalan Hemlatha, Mansi Joshi, Shikha Pandey, Tanya Bhatia (wk), Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bist, Radha Yadav, Arundhati Reddy, Priya Punia.