In what comes as a massive blow for the Indian team ahead of their semifinal clash against Australia at the Women’s T20 World Cup 2023, pacer Pooja Vastrakar has been ruled out from the match. Meanwhile, a confirmation of Harmanpreet Kaur's participation is still awaited. Notably, both players were down with illness and were also admitted to the local hospital on the eve of the match.
While Vastrakar has been ruled out due to an upper respiratory tract infection ahead of the crucial contest, Harmanpreet Kaur missed India's several practice sessions. However, the Indian skipper recovered in time to be back as the captain for the all-important game. Meanwhile, the ICC Event Technical Committee has approved a replacement player request from the BCCI for Vastrakar.
Off-spin bowling all-rounder Sneh Rana, who has featured in 47 internationals including 24 T20Is, will replace Vastrakar and could come into consideration for the cut-throat semi-final on Thursday.
There were chances that if Harmanpreet fails to make it to the playing XI, Smriti Mandhana would have had the responsibility to lead the team. Meanwhile, Harleen Deol could have come in as the replacement for Kaur in the middle order. However, Vastrakar's unavailability meant her replacement Sneh Rana got a chance in the playing XI. It also meant that India had to tinker with their bowling combination.
India included only two pacers- Renuka Singh and Shikha Pandey while Sneh Rana, Radha Yadav, and Deepti Sharma were the three spinners. Meanwhile, Rajeshwari Gayakwad made way for Yastika Bhatia in order to strengthen the batting.