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

“I think, yeah, she [Mandhana] has been working very hard,” Cooley said. “And I think from today, it’ll obviously be assessed after today, but she did everything she was needed to be done today. And I think, yeah, from us, we look at how she pulls up. But we’re pretty confident that she got through the session today and did everything she needed to do.”

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

Despite the absence of Mandhana, India kicked off their World Cup campaign with a successful chase against Pakistan. Jemimah Rodrigues and Richa Ghosh helped them chase down 150, with an over to spare, after early hiccups. India are currently placed second on the Group 2 points behind, behind England, who have won both their matches so far.

Troy Cooley backs ‘exceptional’ Deepti Sharma

Meanwhile, Cooley 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, she [Deepti] is an exceptional player and she bowled three overs in the powerplay, one at the death with three fielders out. So, we know that those are high-pressure times, but you know, who better to give the ball to than someone like Deepti? The conversations are really, you know, did you bowl the ball you want? Did you have the field you wanted? And away you go. So, you know, we let things go as much as we can, but the girls are very good at reviewing their own performances.

“We have some good conversations with them. If we find something that we need to add, we will add it. And they’re very open to input. So a lot of growth in the girls, of course, but Deepti is one of the key players and she’s going to go for a few runs some days. That’s just the nature of this T20 game. But she bowled in the high-pressure situations and we believe she did a good job.”



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