Smriti Mandhana, Renuka Singh Thakur out of quarantine; available for last three ODIs
Smriti Mandhana © Getty Images
India batter Smriti Mandhana is out of New Zealand government’s Mandatory Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) facility, the opener announced on her Instagram page on Tuesday (February 15). Earlier on Sunday, pace bowler Renuka Singh Thakur left the facility to join the Indian side in Queenstown.
According to a report by ESPNCricinfo, Meghna Singh, the third player in the quarantine, is also expected to leave the facility on Tuesday. One they are declared fit, the players will be available for selection from the third game of the ODI series. As of now, India are trailing the series 2-0 after going down in the first two matches at the John Davies Oval in Queenstown.
The trio missed all three matches of the tour so far – including the one-off T20I at the start of the series. Although there hasn’t been any official communication from the BCCI, the report stated that one of the players was tested positive for COVID-19 during the mandatory testing and added that Mandhana not joining the squad was due to travel-related issues.
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The extended India squad arrived in New Zealand on January 26 and then served the ten-day quarantine as mandated by the government before starting their training. All the other participating teams for the World Cup have also arrived in the host nation and are currently at various stages of their MIQ.
India will be hoping that the arrival of Mandhana, ICC Cricketer of the Year 2021, will change their fortunes as they haven’t managed a win on the tour so far. The southpaw has been the highest run-getter for the visitors since the World Cup 2017, scoring 1444 runs from 30 matches at an average of 55.93 and a strike rate 90.93.
India will start their World Cup campaign on March 6 with the match against arch-rivals Pakistan at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, Tauranga.
India squad for ICC World Cup 2022 & New Zealand ODIs: Mithali Raj (c), Harmanpreet Kaur (vc), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh (wk), Sneh Rana, Jhulan Goswami, Pooja Vastrakar, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh Thakur, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav.
Travelling reserves: S. Meghana, Ekta Bisht, Simran Dil Bahadur