India’s women team suffered a huge blow as their T20 skipper has been ruled out due to an ankle injury from the upcoming ODI series against England which is scheduled to start on February 22 at the iconic Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. The 20-year-old Harmanpreet Kaur will be replaced by the young sensation Harleen Deol. Interestingly, the two have played their domestic cricket for the same state – Punjab.
The all-rounder Harleen, who is still to play for India, has been in fine touch and batted at number four spot for the Indian Board President's XI against England in a warm-up game.
According to the media release by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Harmanpreet Kaur will now head back to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for her rehabilitation.
The ODI series forms part of the ICC Women's Championship, and Harmanpreet's loss will be keenly felt. She averages 34.52 with the bat in ODIs and played a key role in India's march to the Women's Cricket World Cup 2017 final, striking an unbeaten 171 against Australia in the semi-final.
However, this remains to be seen if Harleen will start in the playing eleven for India or start at the bench. If Mithali Raj along with the team management gives her an opportunity, it will be interesting to see if she can replicate her Indian Board President’s XI performance. The two sides will play three ODIs, followed by as many T20Is.
India Women's squad for ODI series: Mithali Raj (Captain), Jhulan Goswami, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), R Kalpana (wicket-keeper), Mona Meshram, Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Mansi Joshi, Punam Raut, Harleen Deol.