Indian women cricket team's opener Smriti Mandhana was on Tuesday, ruled out of the ODI series against South Africa Women, starting 9 October at Vadodara. While Mandhana is said to have suffered a fracture on her right toe during a practice session — as per a report by Cricbuzz — the extent of the injury is yet to be confirmed by the team 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," WV Raman, the head coach of the Indian women's team, said.
Mandhana didn't have the best of time with the bat against South Africa, notching up scores of 21, 13, 7 and 5, in the T20I series which India won 3-1.
While the team does have a reserve opener in the form of Priya Punia, the team management has drafted in all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar as Mandhana's replacement in the squad.
ODI skipper Mithali Raj too, added that the series will be a perfect opportunity for the team to test their bench strength ahead of more crucial matches and give new players a chance to come good. "It is an opportunity for someone like Priya Punia to utilise it. It's also an opportunity for the team to give a new player a chance," said Raj on the eve of the first ODI.
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