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India Women vs South Africa Women: Smriti Mandhana ruled out of the ODI series

The first of the 3-ODIs between India and South Africa will be played on October 09 in Vadodara.

Smriti Mandhana
Smriti Mandhana. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After the glitz and glamour and occasional damp squibs in the recently concluded 6-match T20I series, the focus of the South Africa Women tour of India shifts to the One-day series. The three-match one-day series will be played in Vadodara with the first game starting tomorrow.

After having sealed the T20I series 3-0, the Women in Blue lost the last game by 105 runs after they were bundled out for 70 in response to South Africa’s 3-175. And, now leading into the One-day series, the Mithali Raj-led unit has been dealt with another blow.

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Swashbuckling opener and the No.1 ranked ODI batswoman Smriti Mandhana has been ruled out of the 3-match ODI series. The opener suffered a fracture in her toe during a practice session forcing her to be out of the reckoning for the series. It is to be noted that India are set to travel to the Caribbean shortly for a 3-match One-day and a 5-match T20I series, and Mandhan’s injury might come in a  cause of concern for the management.

“The call will be taken after assessment by the physios in the NCA and we’ll take it as it comes along. It’s difficult to fix a timeline right away. She still needs to get an MRI done, for that the swelling has to reduce. So once that is done, an assessment will be done by the head physio at NCA,” said WV Raman, Head Coach of the Women in Blue as quoted by The Cricketer.

Replacement aimed at strengthening the all-rounders’ department

Head Coach WV Raman alluded that Priya Puniya- the reserve opener- will be taking Smriti’s place in the side and also named Pooja Vastrakar as her replacement; a move Raman believes is aimed at strengthening the sides’ all-rounders department.
“We do have a reserve opener in Priya Punia, if Smriti was fit I don’t think she would have been playing. So that base is covered. And we also tried to see the kind of all-round talent that we have. That’s the reason why she [Vastrakar] is being drafted in,” he said.
India would be relieved that the One-day series is not the part of ICC Women’s ODI Championship and that Mandhana’s injury gives them a chance to try out fringe players. “It is an opportunity for someone like Priya Punia to utilize it. It’s also an opportunity for the team to give a new player a chance,” said Mithali.
The first of the 3-ODIs between India and South Africa will be played on October 09 in Vadodara.

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