Though Jemimah opened in the last match and made a good score still the Mandhana factor was missing as Indian women lost by just one run. The good news for Indian fans is Smriti Mandhana has recovered from a fractured toe and is set to join the India women squad ahead of the team’s second ODI against West Indies on Sunday.

It was in early October that Mandhana picked up the injury while training ahead of the long series against South Africa, which forced her out of action for approximately 20 days.

Smriti Mandhana
Smriti Mandhana

In the report of ESPN Cricinfo, they stated that Mandhana would be leaving for the Caribbean on Sunday. BCCI has announced that she is available for selection. She was swapped for all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar for the South Africa series, but since no replacement was named for the three ODIs and five T20Is against West Indies, it is believed that she was always expected to regain fitness soon.

While she was away from cricket, she focused on her fitness and even posted a video of her first running session in her home town of Sangli. Mandhana is turning to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) where she underwent intense rehab. Recently, Mandhana had also posted on Instagram pictures of her cooking, calling it her “relaxing therapy”.

Since last year Smriti Mandhana, the vice-captain of the Indian team was in prolific form as she scored 1081 runs at a staggering average of 67.86 at a strike rate of 90.97 including two centuries and ten half-centuries.

She had a decent season for KIA Super League for western storm where she made 268 runs in 11 innings. But she underwent a rare failure in the form in the ODIs against South Africa women. In four matches, the opener managed only 46 runs even though India women secured the series 3-1.

As she was named Shortly ODI Player of the Year in the ICC awards in 2018, in January this year, she climbed to the top of the ODI rankings. She struck her fourth ODI century in Napier before scoring an unbeaten 90 in Mount Maunganui when India won the ODI series 2-1 as part of the ICC Women’s Championship.

While between January 2018 and February 2019, Mandhana emerged as the highest run-scorer with 865 runs from 15 innings at an average of 72.08 and strike rate of 93.11. Of these, an impressive 57 per cent of runs were scored in boundaries with 102 fours and 14 sixes.

The Indian team will be more than happy to add her in the squad.

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