Injured Smriti Mandhana ruled out of ODI series against South Africa

Ruben Hill
October 9, 2019

She achieved the feat as she stepped on the field during the first ODI of the three-match series between India and South Africa at the Reliance Stadium in Vadodara on Wednesday. But to everyone's dismay, she suffered a toe fracture during a practice which has forced her out of the series. Although the extent of her injury is not known yet, the absence of Mandhana will be a huge blow for India. The team is tentatively set to depart for a tour of the Caribbean on October 23.

"The call will be taken after assessment by the physios in the NCA and we'll take it as it comes along". It's hard 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.

For coach WV Raman and India, the plan is likely to remain the same as that in the T20I series - attack the South Africans with the spinners and look to bowl them out as cheaply as possible. "Once that's done, only then the assessment can be made". "That's the reason why she [Vastrakar] is being drafted in", he said. "It's also an opportunity for the team to give a new player a chance", said Raj.

India has the services of Deepti Sharma, Priya Punia and Punam Rout in the squad who can open instead of the injured left-hander and the management will now be eyeing to find a suitable replacement for the destructive opener.

Mandhana had failed to get going in the T20I series against South Africa that preceded the ODIs, with scores of 21, 13, 7 and 5 in the four completed games.

Skipper Mithali Raj added that with the series not being a part of the ICC Championship, it was an ideal time to test out a new player. "And I am positive that whoever gets a chance will utilise it fully".

India won the recently concluded Twenty20 worldwide series 3-1 against South Africa in Surat.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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