India Women will be without their vice-captain Smriti Mandhana in their first match of the Women’s T20 World Cup against Pakistan. The eagerly awaited match, which will be led by Harmanpreet Kaur, is slated to be played on Sunday, February 12 at Newlands in Cape Town.
Mandhana, 26, suffered an injury while fielding during a warm-up match against Australia earlier this week, and has subsequently missed another warm-up game against Bangladesh.
Stand-in Coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar’s Statement:
“Smriti has a finger injury and is still (in) recovery, so she won’t play most likely. It’s not a fracture and we’re hopeful she will be available from the second game onwards.”
“You want to be playing the strong teams, the arch-rivals if you can call them that. We are totally prepared for what happens, the atmosphere is good.”
In Smriti’s absence, the left-handed batter Yastika Bhatia is most likely to open the batting alongside the swashbuckling Shafali Verma in their opening match against the arch-rivals Pakistan.
Moreover, the former Indian cricketer stated that captain Harmanpreet Kaur has recovered from the shoulder niggle she sustained during the Tri-series against West Indies and South Africa and is all set to take the field against Pakistan.