India women’s team’s T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur has been ruled out of the first match of the three-match T20I series to be played against South Africa women. Harmanpreet Kaur had played in the recently concluded five-match ODI series, in which Indian women lost 4-1 to South African women.
The three-match T20I series will also be played at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow, which had previously hosted the ODI series between the two sides. In Harmanpreet Kaur’s absence, Smriti Mandhana will lead the side in the first T20I match, in what will be their first appearance in the format since the T20 World Cup final on March 8 last year.
Update On Harmanpreet Kaur’s Injury To Be Given Later: Smriti Mandhana
As per reports, Harmanpreet Kaur has suffered a hip-flexor injury while batting in the fifth ODI against the South African women on Wednesday.
“She (Harmanpreet Kaur) is out of tomorrow’s match and rest of the update on her condition will be given by the medical team. It will be better for them to speak about it rather than me,” Mandhana, a left-handed opener, said during a virtual pre-match press conference.
Smriri Mandhana, 24, has led India in four T20Is, her maiden match as India captain came in March 2019, where she filled in for an injured Harmanpreet Kaur in the three-match T20I series against a visiting England side in Guwahati. India was whitewashed by England in her maiden assignment as captain, but then later the same year, Mandhana led India to a victory over the West Indies side.
“We will try to forget the ODIs and focus on the T20 series. Yes, the ODI series was a disappointment but we need to forget that and move ahead. Some new faces have come in the team, so we need to think fresh. We had a discussion on how to go about our preparation, what went wrong in the ODI series and how to go forward. We now need to concentrate on the T20s. We are now looking at the ODI series as a preparation for T20 series,” said Smriri Mandhana.
Smriti Mandhana also confirmed that India will go in with the same opening combination against South Africa women, they had in the T20 World Cup, with 17-year-old Shafali Verma, opening with Smriri Mandhana.