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  5. IND-W vs AUS-W: Smriti Mandhana comes back as India drop Shafali Verma for must-win clash against Australia

IND-W vs AUS-W: Smriti Mandhana comes back as India drop Shafali Verma for must-win clash against Australia

Smriti Mandhana was unwell and hence didn't feature in the first ODI against Australia at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday, December 28.

Written By: Kumar Rupesh @afiestysoul New Delhi Updated on: December 30, 2023 13:53 IST
Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana.
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana.

Smriti Mandhana has made her way back into the playing XI at the expense of her opening partner Shafali Verma as India fight to remain alive in the ongoing three-match ODI series against Australia at home. Smriti was unwell leading into the ODI series opener and hence wasn't available for selection on Thursday.

India missed their star opener as the pair of Yastika Bhatia and Shafali could merely aggregate 12 runs for the opening wicket. Shafali's ouster from the playing XI doesn't come across as an unforeseen change. The Rohtak-born (Haryana) has been far from impressive in the ODI circuit and hence the team management has decided to bench her for the second game.

Shafali, 19, has played 23 games for India in the 50-overs format and has accumulated merely 536 runs at an underwhelming average of 24.36. She is yet to rack up a hundred in the ODI format and has just managed to score four half-centuries thus far.

India have made one more change to their XI that played on Thursday. Left-arm orthodox spinner Saika Ishaque who made her ODI debut in the first game has made way for Shreyanka Patil, who is making her ODI debut.

Patil's inclusion into the playing XI might be because Saika was fairly expensive in the ODI series opener. Saika conceded 48 runs in her six overs and was unable to claim a wicket. On the other hand, Australia have drafted Kim Garth into their playing XI in place of Megan Schutt.

India's Playing XI:

 Yastika Bhatia, Smriti Mandhana, Richa Ghosh (wk), Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Jemimah RodriguesDeepti Sharma, Amanjot Kaur, Sneh Rana, Pooja Vastrakar, Renuka Singh, Shreyanka Patil

Australia's Playing XI:

 Alyssa Healy(c/wk), Phoebe Litchfield, Ellyse Perry, Beth Mooney, Tahlia McGrath, Ashleigh Gardner, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham, Alana King, Kim Garth, Darcie Brown

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