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Shabnam Shakil gets her maiden call-up to Indian senior women’s cricket team

Shabnam Shakil gets her maiden call-up to Indian senior women's cricket team
Image via WPL

17-year-old Shabnam Shakil, a standout performer in the Under-19 World Cup, has got her first call-up to the Indian senior women’s cricket team. She was included as a late addition for the multi-format series versus South Africa, denoting her capability to become an influential asset for India.

Shakil’s inclusion appears strategic, likely desired for handling the workload of India’s frontline pacers. In the first ODI in Bengaluru, Pooja Vastrakar and Renuka Thakur took charge of the new-ball duties. Vastrakar, who had been a dubious starter for the ODIs due to a shoulder niggle that demanded recovery at the NCA in Bengaluru, played under careful management.

In the following ODI, Arundhati Reddy got her maiden ODI cap in Thakur’s absence, as Thakur was rested and seen undergoing a fitness test under the supervision of the team’s strength and conditioning coach, Anand Date.

For the one-off Test in Chennai, India’s team includes Meghna Singh as a fourth pace-bowling option. Singh will be substituted by pace-bowling allrounder Amanjot Kaur for the three-match T20I series. Shakil’s voyage to the senior team was supported by her participation in a pacers-specific camp in Bengaluru before her selection. She also made her mark in the Board President’s XI for a warm-up match facing off against South Africa, although only 14 overs of BP XI’s batting were doable before rain interloped.

Shakil portrayed her skills in the 2024 Women’s Premier League tournament with the Gujarat Giants. She bagged four scalps in four matches with an economy rate of 7. Shakil’s maiden senior call-up underscores her ability and showcases the team’s priority on fostering young talent. Her performance will be closely watched as she transitions from youth to senior international cricket.

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