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News

Vastrakar ruled out of T20 World Cup semi-final; Harmanpreet uncertain

Sneh Rana has been approved as Vastrakar's replacement

Shashank Kishore
Shashank Kishore
23-Feb-2023
It is learnt that both Pooja Vastrakar and Harmanpreet Kaur were in the hospital on Wednesday evening  •  AFP/Getty Images

It is learnt that both Pooja Vastrakar and Harmanpreet Kaur were in the hospital on Wednesday evening  •  AFP/Getty Images

Hours before they play the semi-final against Australia at the T20 World Cup, India have been dealt with a major selection challenge, with seam-bowling allrounder Pooja Vastrakar ruled out with an upper respiratory tract infection. Sneh Rana, one of the travelling reserves, has been approved as a replacement.
ESPNcricinfo has learned that Vastrakar, along with captain Harmanpreet Kaur, had reported sick on Monday and were in the hospital briefly on Wednesday evening. The India captain has had fever for the past two days. The BCCI medical team is yet to make a call if she can take part in the semi-final.
If Harmanpreet, who has managed just 66 runs in four games so far in the tournament, is also ruled out, it could pave the way for Harleen Deol's inclusion as a like-for-like replacement.
Vastrakar will remain with the squad but India do not have a like-for-like replacement for her. Rana bowls offspin and can bat lower down the order. Apart from Rana, India could consider bringing in left-arm seamer Anjali Sarvani, who is yet to get a game in the competition, for Vastrakar.
Another option is left-arm spinner Radha who has been economical in her three games so far, conceding at 6.22 in nine overs for two wickets. But she too had missed India's previous game, against Ireland, because of illness, and Devika Vaidya played that match.
As a bowler, Vastrakar was used across all three phases of the innings. Her 12.2 overs in four games yielded two wickets at an economy of 7.21. She had been undergoing rehab for a knee injury since October, and had missed much of India's build-up to the World Cup. Her inclusion was subject to fitness clearance, which she received prior to the competition.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo