Vadodara, OctOBER 8
The Indian women’s cricket team was dealt with a major blow as opener Smriti Mandhana was ruled out of the three-match ODI series against South Africa, which begins here tomorrow, due to an injury. The 23-year-old suffered a fracture in her right toe after being struck by a ball during a net session on Sunday, forcing her out of the series. All-rounder Pooja Vastrakar has been drafted in as her replacement.
Head coach WV Raman said a decision on Mandhana’s return will be taken based on the assessment of the physios at the National Cricket Academy. “It is a mild fracture. It’s difficult to fix the timeline as she still needs to get MRI done. There is some swelling and it has to die down before the scans. An assessment can be made only after that,” Raman said.
Captain Mithali Raj said Mandhana’s absence is an opportunity for other players. “She (Mandhana) is an experienced player. But other players have scored a lot of runs in the domestic games. This series is not part of the ICC Women’s Championship. So that way it’s a chance for us to try out new players. And I am positive that whoever gets a chance will utilise it fully,” she said.
India won the recently-concluded T20I series 3-1 against South Africa in Surat. However, Mandhana struggled during the series, scoring 21, 13, 7 and 5 in her four innings. — PTI
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