Shikha Pandey’s omission a tough call but she is not dropped, clarifies Harmanpreet Kaur ahead of ODI series against South Africa

The Indian team's last competitive match was the ICC Women's T20 World Cup final against Australia.

Saurabh Ganguly Author

Updated - 7 March 2021 6:24 pm

Ahead of the ODI series between Indian women and their South Africa counterpart, Indian batswoman Harmanpreet Kaur opened up on Shikha Pandey's inclusion in the squad. She stated that although Shikha Pandey's omission was a tough call for the team management, she has not been dropped. Harman clarified that it was important for the team to try out new players since the team has not played competitive cricket for more than a year.

"She is not dropped. After this tournament, will be able to settle our combination," the 31-year-old said in response to a question posed by a journalist at the pre-series press conference.

Harmanpreet set to play her 100th ODI on Sunday

As soon as Harmanpreet comes takes the field on Sunday at the Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow she will have 100 ODI caps to her name. In 99 matches till now, the right-handed batswoman has scored 2372 runs at an average 34.88 and a strike rate of 68.93. She even has 3 hundreds and 11 fifties to her credit. Harmanpreet last played an ODI in November 2019 against West Indies before the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic brought the entire world to a standstill.

India's last competitive match was the T20 World Cup final against Australia

The Indian team's last competitive match was the ICC Women's T20 World Cup final against Australia. While the Indian team had been splendid throughout the tournament even beating hosts Australia in the group stage, they could not cross the final hurdle against the same opponents, losing by a big margin of 85 runs.