Indian star cricketer Smriti Mandhana has been ruled out of the ODI series against South Africa women following a fracture in her toe. Pooja Vastrakar has been added to the team as Mandhana’s replacement.
According to a BCCI spokesperson’s information to ESPNcricinfo, the opener picked up an injury during the practice session. She was struck by a ball while batting in the nets. Currently, she is being monitored by the BCCI’s medical team and her availability for India’s next series is in doubt. Indian women’s team is tentatively set to depart for a tour of the Caribbean on October 23. The 20-year-old seam-bowling all-rounder, Pooja Vastrakar has replaced Mandhana in the squad.
ICC Tweeted the news, “Smriti Mandhana, the No.1 batter in the @MRFWorldwide Women’s ODI Rankings, has been ruled out of India’s ODI series against South Africa with a fractured toe. Seam-bowling all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar has been called up as her replacement.’
The coach, WV Raman on Tuesday mentioned this in a press conference. Calling it a mild fracture he said, “The call [on Mandhana’s return] will be taken based on the assessment of the physios at the NCA [National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru]. It’s difficult to fix the timeline either way because she still needs to get an MRI done because there is some swelling and it has to die down for the MRI to be taken. Once that’s done, only then the assessment can be made.”
On the other hand, for the skipper, Mithali Raj this absence of Mandhana is a good chance for the upcoming young players. “She [Mandhana] is an experienced player. But other players, like Priya Punia, 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.”
India will play a 3-match ODI series with the Proteas scheduled to begin from October 9.
Mithali Raj (capt), Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-capt), Taniya Bhatia (wk), Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Dayalan Hemalatha, Mansi Joshi, Pooja Vastrakar, Shikha Pandey, Poonam Yadav, Priya Punia, Punam Raut, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma