Why will Pooja Vastrakar miss Semi-Final Clash against Australia?

The ongoing, 8th edition of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Twenty20 (T20) World Cup is at its business end, and on the 23rd of February, for the 1st Semi-Final clash, cricketing giants – Australia and India are set to lock horns at 6:30 PM IST. While India fancies their chances of upsetting Australia, a recent development from the Indian camp could dent their World Cup final hopes.

Pooja Vastrakar. PC: Getty Images
Pooja Vastrakar. PC: Getty Images

Only a few hours away is the T20 World Cup Semi-Final clash between defending champions, Australia and runners-up from the previous edition, India in Cape Town, but the latter are mulling over the availability of skipper, Harmanpreet Kaur and pace all-rounder, Pooja Vastrakar.

It is understood that both Harmanpreet Kaur and Pooja Vastrakar are down with an illness and on the eve of the Semi-Final were admitted to a local hospital and were discharged in the evening hours. The team management is expected to take a call on their availability over the next few hours and the unavailability of the two quality players surely isn’t even the last thing India would want ahead of the big clash against Australia.

If skipper, Harmanpreet Kaur doesn’t recover in time for the clash, Smriti Mandhana will lead the side against Australia and the most likely replacement will be in that of an all-rounder, Harleen Deol, and Yastika Bhatia too would fancy her chances here. Replacing Pooja Vastrakar will be a pacer, Anjali Sarvani, and while her inexperience here is a concern, the variety as a left-armer could prove to be a blessing in disguise for India.

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On sheet and in numbers, Australia certainly has had the better of India on most occasions, as the head-to-head record sees Australia with 22 wins over India’s 7 off a total of 30 games. India in the tournament thus far hasn’t even been close to their potential best, and while the team managed to win over Pakistan in their opener, West Indies and Ireland, the side lost to England, who are one of the favorites to win the tournament.

The left-arm spinner, Radha Yadav’s fitness worry is something that’ll keep the team management in two minds over the playing, especially with Pooja Vastrakar’s unavailability. Lots of questions for India, ahead of their Semi-Final clash against seasoned Australia, but they’ll hope to have both Harmanpreet and Pooja fit, so the team can their best possible XI.

Source: Indian Express

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