Pooja Vastrakar of India has been ruled out of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 semi-final match against Australia, which will be contested on Thursday, February 23 at Newlands in Cape Town. Infection of the upper respiratory tract struck the 23-year-old prior to the match in the semifinals. Vastrakar took two wickets at an average of 44.5 while participating in all four of India’s Women’s group games.
After a request from the BCCI, the ICC Event Technical Committee has cleared off-spin bowling all-rounder Sneh Rana to take Vastrakar’s position. The 29-year-old Rana has played in 24 T20Is, where she has taken 24 wickets at a 20.37 average and a 6.11 economy rate.
Prior to the semi-final, doubts have also been raised about the fitness of captain Harmanpreet Kaur. Media reports claim that pacer Vastrakar and Harmanpreet both were ill before the big game and needed to be hospitalised. They were released that evening, Wednesday.
UPDATE 🚨 – Pacer Pooja Vastrakar has been ruled out due to an upper respiratory tract infection!
The Event Technical Committee of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 has approved @SnehRana15 as a replacement for Pooja Vastrakar in the India squad! #T20WorldCup | #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/NKiTvp22Hn
— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) February 23, 2023
“Alyssa Healy is fit and available” – Meg Lanning
With pace bowler Vastrakar out, India has suffered a significant loss. But, there was good news for Australia before the semi-final as keeper-batter Alyssa Healy was cleared to play.
Due to a quad injury, the in-form Healy was forced to sit out Australia’s last group game against South Africa. On the day of the semifinal match, however, team captain Meg Lanning said that all of their players will be eligible for the contest against India. During a press conference, Lanning stated:
“We’ve got a full squad. Alyssa Healy is fit and available, which is great for us. She’s had a great tournament so far and is going to play an important role. So that’s nice, but it does make it pretty difficult to get it down to XI”.
The Australian skipper continued by expressing her thoughts on the semi-final matchup with India, a team they have recently encountered frequently:
“I feel like anything can happen. And we understand that pretty well. But we’re as planned as we can be in terms of their individuals and their sort of team style of play. But you can’t predict what’s going to happen. So, we need to be able to adapt and sort of play what’s in front of us. I think that’s really important in coming with all the plans that you want.”
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