Smriti Mandhana all set to return to action against West Indies

India vice-captain and opener Smriti Mandhana is all set to return to action against the West Indies after being ruled out of the T20 World Cup opener against Pakistan on Sunday due to a finger injury. India bowling coach Troy Cooley is hopeful that Mandhana will be fit to play against the West Indies on Wednesday.

“I think, yes, that [Mandhana] Working really hard,” Cooley said. “And I think from today, obviously she’ll be judged after today, but she did everything she needed to do today. And I think, yeah, from us, we see how she draws. But we are very confident that she went through the session today and did everything she needed to do.”

Mandhana also missed India’s second warm-up game, but stand-in coach Harishkesh Kanitkar confirmed that there was no fracture.

Despite Mandhana’s absence, India opened their World Cup campaign with a successful chase against Pakistan. Jemima Rodrigues and Richa Ghosh helped them chase 150 with an over after an early hiccup. India are currently second in Group 2 behind England who have won both their matches so far.

Troy Colley backs ‘extraordinary’ Deepti Sharma

Meanwhile, Kohli also backed India’s “key player” Deepti Sharma, who had an off-day against Pakistan, conceding 39 runs in her four overs for just one wicket.

“Well, as you know, that [Deepti] An exceptional player and bowled three overs in the powerplay, one at the death with three fielders out. So, we know those are high-pressure times, but you know, who better to give the ball to than someone like Deepti? The conversation is really, you know, did you throw the ball the way you wanted to? Do you have the field you wanted? And you go. So, you know, we let things go more and more, but the girls are very good at evaluating their own performance.

“We’ve had some good conversations with them. If we find something that we need to add, we’ll add it. And they’re very open to input. So definitely in the girls. There has been a lot of progress, but Deepti is one of them. She is a key player and she is going to score some runs in a few days. That is the nature of this T20 game. But she bowled in high-pressure situations and we are confident. He did a good job.”

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