Smriti Mandhana Ruled Out Of India's Women's T20 World Cup Opener Against Pakistan: Sources
Smriti Mandhana injured her left middle finger while fielding during the warm-up match against Australia on Monday
India vice-captain Smriti Mandhana has been ruled out of the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side's Women's T20 World Cup opener against Pakistan, sources told NDTV on Saturday. The much-anticipated match will be at Newlands, Cape Town on Sunday. The 26-year-old Mandhana had picked up the injury while fielding during the warm-up game against Australia earlier this week, which forced her out of the second warm-up tie against Bangladesh. "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," stand-in coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar said during a press conference.
"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," added Kanitkar.
The former India men's team cricketer added that captain Harmanpreet Kaur has recovered fully from the shoulder niggle she picked up during the Tri-series against West Indies and South Africa.
"Harman is fit to play. She has batted for the last two days in the nets, she is fine," Kanitkar added.
Earlier on Saturday, Mandhana posted her images on social media in full cricketing gear and captioned them, "Let's go T20WorldCup2023".
The Indian team is clubbed alongside England, Pakistan, West Indies and Ireland in Group B.
India come into the World Cup match having lost the recent Tri-series final to South Africa. They also lost the warm-up game against Australia before beating Bangladesh.
With PTI inputs