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As BCCI announced the squad of the Indian women's side for upcoming ODI World Cup on Thursday, fans were left in shock by seeing a few key players missing out. With youngsters like Jemimah Rodrigues and Harleen Deol missing the bus to New Zealand, it was the exclusion of experienced pacer Shikha Pandey that came as a major surprise.

The right-arm pacer has represented India in 55 ODIs with 75 scalps to her name. Pandey could have proven to be lethal in conditions that will be favourable for swing bowlers. However, the board made a bold call to go ahead with a few young fast-bowlers alongside Jhulan Goswami leaving no place for Shikha Pandey.

Following the setback, the 32-year-old was expectedly left heartbroken which was quite evident with her latest tweet on Thursday, where she shared an emotional blog written by her a few months back (on October 25, 2021).

It is not the first time that Shikha Pandey has been dropped from the Indian side. Just a few months back only, the pacer had made a comeback to the team after a setback. All these challenges are part and parcels of life of a professional athlete and Shikha's blog proves that she has seen it all.

I have had my fair share of ups and downs: Shikha Pandey

"Through my professional career, I have had my fair share of ups and downs. There have been days that I have been fit and raring to get onto the field. But the next thing I am doing is running in with the drinks as fast as I can, racing against broadcasters and their desire to quickly cut to ads just so that my parents back home can see me on the screen and know that I am fine. ? I have learnt so much sitting on the sidelines," she mentions in her blog.

In the blog, she talks about her famous ball of the century which she produced against Australia, and how it reminded her to keep believing. "I most certainly believe ‘THAT’ inswinger was how something/ someone up there told me rather reminded me to NOT lose hope and have faith in my hard work. There is still so much more to dream and to achieve because I am a heavy dreamer."

As she shared the blog once again on Thursday, it reflects that Shikha Pandey is still dreaming to make her way back into the side in future, proving once again why she is considered as one of the gems of Indian cricket.

Punam Raut also expresses her feelings on her exclusion from India's squad

Just like Shikha, experienced batter Punam Raut was also devastated after failing to make India's squad for the mega event. In an emotional post on Twitter, she stated, "Having being considered amongst the experienced batsmen and a consistent run-scorer for India, I am extremely disappointed at not being a part of the World Cup squad."

While it is extremely disheartening to see some key players missing out from India's squad, fans would be hoping that the Mithali Raj led side can justify the selectors' decision by producing stellar performances on the field during ODI World Cup 2022.