Womens Cricket

3 Indian women's players who were lucky to be picked in the Asian Games 2023 squad

Harmanpreet Kaur will look to finally lead Team India to silverware when the Women in Blue travel to China to take part in the Asian Games 2023 in September-October.

Harmanpreet will have the support of certain senior players, including Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gayakwad. Apart from them, though, India will field a new-look, young squad for the tournament, with a few uncapped players in the mix as well.

India women's squad for the Asian Games 2023: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh (wk), Amanjot Kaur, Devika Vaidya, Anjali Sarvani, Titas Sadhu, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Minnu Mani, Kanika Ahuja, Uma Chetry (wk), Anusha Bareddy.

It's arguable that not all of these players deserved to be picked in the squad, with notable names like Shikha Pandey, Radha Yadav and Yastika Bhatia missing out. Some inclusions appear to defy conventional wisdom, especially when you consider the stature of the names not part of the contingent.

Here are three Indian women's players who were lucky to be picked in the Asian Games 2023 squad.

1 Titas Sadhu

Titas Sadhu is a supremely exciting talent. One of the stars of the U19 World Cup earlier this year, the young fast bowler has been touted to become the backbone of India's pace attack in the future.

However, did Titas deserve a call-up to the Asian Games squad ahead of the likes of Renuka Singh Thakur and Shikha Pandey? India also dropped Monica Patel and Meghna Singh, who were part of the Bangladesh series, in the process.

Titas played two games in the Emerging Asia Cup, returning one wicket in each. While the Delhi Capitals (DC) pacer has all the tools to become an international superstar, the Asian Games 2023 might be a step taken too soon.

2 Anusha Bareddy

Anusha Bareddy played two T20Is and one ODI in the recently concluded tour of Bangladesh. While she bowled an fairly economical spell on her debut, it was clear that she is a work in progress.

Anusha ended up with just one wicket on the tour, often struggling to hit the right lines and lengths. The left-arm spinner also doesn't offer much with the bat, making her inclusion ahead of the likes of Radha Yadav rather surprising.

There will probably come a time when the 20-year-old is ready to play regularly for the Women in Blue, but it seems a touch early to introduce her to the rigors of a competition like the Asian Games. Anusha might struggle to make an impact, should she be selected in the playing XI.

3 Devika Vaidya

Devika Vaidya hasn't set the international stage on fire in her two stints with the Indian team. In 14 T20Is, the all-rounder has recorded 90 runs at an average of 22.5 and a strike rate of 98.9. With the ball, she has managed eight scalps at an economy rate of 8.22.

More importantly, Devika didn't have a great WPL 2023 campaign for the UP Warriorz (UPW). She failed to make any notable batting contributions apart from an unbeaten 36 in a comfortable chase and picked up a total of one wicket in the competition.

India are somewhat short of leg-spin options and Devika managed four scalps in two games against Bangladesh, so her inclusion wasn't all that surprising. But with younger, more dynamic options like Parshavi Chopra in the mix, combined with her own inconsistencies, the 25-year-old can consider herself a touch lucky to be picked in the squad.