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Smriti Mandhana ruled out of South Africa ODI series

Vadodara: The Indian women’s team was yesterday dealt with a major blow as opener Smriti Mandhana was ruled out of the three-match ODI series against South Africa beginning here today due to an injury. Mandhana, 23, suffered a fracture in her right toe after being struck by a ball during a net session on Sunday forcing her out of the series. Seam bowling all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar has been drafted in as her replacement.

Head coach WV Raman said a call on Mandhana’s return will be taken based on the assessment of the physios at the NCA. “It is a mild fracture. It’s difficult to fix the timeline as she still needs to get an MRI done. There is some swelling and it has to die down for the MRI to be taken. An assessment can be made only after that, Raman said at the pre-match a press conference.

Captain Mithali Raj said Mandhana’s absence will give opportunities for other players. “She [Mandhana] is an experienced player. But other players have scored a lot of runs in the domestic games. This series is not part of the ICC Women’s Championship. So that way it’s a chance for us to try out new players. And I am positive that whoever gets a chance will utilise it fully.”

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