World Cup 2023: Will the women in blue start with a loss?
Smriti Mandhana, the vice captain of India, is not expected to play in the opening match of the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup against Pakistan on Sunday because she has not yet fully recovered from her finger injury. It is a big loss for the Indian team as her absence will create a massive impact on the team as her performance in the World Cup are just unreal like in the 2021 T20 World Cup, she was the leading run-scorer for India, with an impressive average of 46 and a strike rate of 138. She also amassed 235 runs in just 5 innings, with her highest score being an unbeaten 83 runs. Similarly, in the 2022 T20 World Cup, Mandhana continued her rich vein of form and was once again one of the most consistent performers for India. She scored 228 runs in just 6 innings at an average of 38 and a strike rate of 144.
PTI quotes a source close to the ICC as saying, “She suffered an injury in the practice game. We can’t say she is out of World Cup yet. But she could miss the Pakistan game.”
Her ability to score runs quickly, she provided the Indian team with a much-needed boost in the middle order. Therefore, Mandhana’s absence from the first match against Pakistan is a big loss for the Indian team.
The health of skipper Harmanpreet Kaur is also under question. She suffered a shoulder injury during the Tri-Series championship game against South Africa last week.
“Body is fine. It will get better with rest,” Kaur had said after the final.
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