Arch-rivals India and Pakistan square off in the ICC T20 World Cup 2023 on Sunday in what promises to be a riveting clash. This will be the first match for both teams in the competition. They will be looking to start with a win and what better way to start a world cup campaign than beating your arch-rivals?
However, India might be missing one of their stalwarts – Smriti Mandhana in the highly-anticipated encounter. The Indian opener is likely to miss the opening encounter owing to a finger injury she suffered during a warm-up fixture against Australia on Monday. Mandhana is yet to recover fully from the injury.
It will be interesting to see if India decides to push her into the playing XI due to the magnitude of the game. However, by no means would they want to aggravate her injury and jeopardize her chances of playing at full tilt in the upcoming fixtures.
The stylish left-handed batter missed the second warm-up tie against Bangladesh on Wednesday.
“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,” PTI quoted an ICC source as saying.
Meanwhile, captain Harmanpreet Kaur had also injured her shoulder during the final of the tri-series against South Africa last week. She did not bat in any of the warm-up matches but is expected to be fit in time for the Indo-Pak clash in the ICC T20 World Cup 2023.
India is placed in Group B alongside England, Pakistan, West Indies, and Ireland.
T20I record of Smriti Mandhana against Pakistan
In 8 matches against Pakistan, Smriti Mandhana has compiled 187 runs at an average of 26.71 and a strike rate of 101.08. She also has an unbeaten 63 against Pakistan.
Indian fans will be praying that the experienced campaigner can recover fully ahead of the game on Sunday.