Jemimah Rodrigues, the brightest young spark in Indian women's cricket at the moment, has earned a maiden call-up to the national team. © Getty Images

Jemimah Rodrigues, the brightest young spark in Indian women’s cricket at the moment, has earned a maiden call-up to the national team. © Getty Images

Jemimah Rodrigues, Pooja Vastrakar and Taniya Bhatia are the new faces in the India Women squad, to be led by Mithali Raj, for the three-match One-Day International series in South Africa next month.

This will be the first taste of international cricket for players of either team since the Women’s World Cup 2017, where India lost to England in the final at Lord’s on July 23. South Africa had lost to England in the semifinal on July 18.

Squad: Mithali Raj (capt), Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-capt), Sushma Verma (wk), Ekta Bisht, Smriti Mandhana, Poonam Yadav, Punam Raut, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jemimah Rodrigues, Jhulan Goswami, Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Mona Meshram, Pooja Vastrakar, Veda Krishnamurthy, Taniya Bhatia (wk).

On Wednesday (January 10), the Indian selectors announced a 16-member squad for the three games – a part of the ICC Women’s Championship 2017-2020 – leaving out Mansi Joshi, the right-arm medium pacer, and Nuzhat Parween, the wicketkeeper-batter who didn’t get a look-in during the World Cup.

Their places went to Rodrigues, the 17-year-old opening batter who is widely regarded as the brightest rising star in Indian women’s cricket, Vastrakar, the 18-year-old right-arm medium pacer, and Bhatia, the 20-year-old wicketkeeper-batter.

The youngsters performed well in the recent Women’s Challenger Trophy, Rodrigues especially impressive with scores of 84, 52 and 43. Rodrigues, Vastrakar and Bhatia had all done well earlier for India A in their limited-overs series against Bangladesh A at home.

The rest of the squad is along expected lines, featuring 13 members who figured in the World Cup.

The first of three ODIs is on February  5 in Kimberley. At the end of the ODI exchanges, the teams will play five Twenty20 Internationals. The India squad for that series will be named later.

Schedule
February 2 Warm-up match in Bloemfontein
February 5 First ODI in Kimberley
February 7 Second ODI in Kimberley
February 10 Third ODI in Potchefstroom