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Smriti Mandhana won’t play against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup opener


India’s vice captain Smriti Mandhana, who suffered a finger injury in a warm-up game, is not expected to participate in the opening game of the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup against Pakistan on Sunday. The 26-year-old starter suffered an injury to her left middle finger while playing in the friendly match against Australia on Monday.

“She was hurt during the warm-up game. She isn’t officially out of the World Cup just yet. However, she could miss the match against Pakistan, an ICC source informed PTI.

The southpaw instead chose to bat at number three against Australia. In an inning, she barely managed to last three balls. Mandhana was thus unable to take the field in India’s second preseason game against Bangladesh on Wednesday. The captain Harmanpreet Kaur’s health is also in doubt. During the Tri-Series final match against South Africa last week, she sustained a shoulder injury.

“My body is good. After the match, Kaur had stated, “It will get better with rest.

Mandhana has been a star player in the T20 World Cup over the past two years. She was India’s top run-scorer at the 2021 T20 World Cup, with a remarkable average of 46 and a strike rate of 138. Additionally, she scored 235 runs in just 5 innings, with an undefeated 83 as her greatest total. Similar to how she performed in the 2022 T20 World Cup, Mandhana continued her strong run of form and was once again one of India’s most reliable players. In just 6 innings, she put up 228 runs at an average of 38 and a strike rate of 144. She gave the Indian squad the much-needed middle-order lift thanks to her rapid run scoring.

Mandhana’s absence from India’s opening match against Pakistan is a significant setback for them, therefore they will need to find a method to make up for it. It would be difficult for the squad to move over her absence because she has been a crucial part of India’s T20 World Cup campaigns over the last two years with her powerful batting and sound technique. Group B includes the “Women in Blue” as well as England, Pakistan, the West Indies, and Ireland.

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