Shikha Pandey’s surprise return from wilderness may have raised eyebrows, but Indian women’s team captain Harmanpreet Kaur on Wednesday said the veteran pacer could just be the X-factor they need in the upcoming T20 World Cup in South Africa.
The 33-year-old, who last played for India in October 2021 before being controversially dropped from the team, was brought back for the upcoming tri-series and the following T20 World Cup slated from February 10-26.
The tri-series will also involve the West Indies.
“She’s (Shikha) a very experienced bowler, that’s the only reason we wanted to bring her in the side,” Harmanpreet told reporters on the eve of their tri-series opener against South Africa here.
In the absence of retired Jhulan Goswami, India’s pace department looked thin, especially in the home series against Australia recently, which they lost 1-4. It seems, this was the reason behind recalling Shikha, a two-time World Cup finalist (ODI World Cup in 2017 and T20I World Cup in 2020).
“The tracks in South Africa are more pace friendly. We wanted to strengthen our medium pace line-up as we are in South Africa. We need more pace bowling options. She (Shikha) did really well in the domestic season. She has done really well for the country whenever she got an opportunity. That’s the reason she has been recalled.”
- Match starts: 10.30pm IST