Shikha Pandey’s omission is a tough call but it is not abandoned: Harmanpreet Kaur

ODI Indian women’s team vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur said on Friday it was a “tough call” to quit veteran driver Shikha Pandey of the next limited series against South Africa and has insisted that she had not been abandoned for good.

The Indian women’s team will play five ODIs and three T20Is against South Africa, starting by Sunday, which will mark the team’s return to competitive cricket after almost 12 months.

Pandey’s omission from the ODI and T20 teams for the South Africa series created a real flippancy. She was India’s second-best wicket-getter in their previous assignment – the T20 World Cup.

“I know it was a tough call, sometimes you have to give other players a chance,” Harmanpreet, who is the captain of India’s T20 team, said in a virtual press conference ahead of the first ODI Sunday.

“She’s not given up… sometimes you have to take risks, after this tournament we will be able to sort out our combination as we have a lot of cricket coming up in the next 2-3 years.”

Pandey, 31, played 52 ODIs and 50 T20 internationals for India, taking 73 and 36 wickets respectively.

Speaking about the upcoming series, Harmanpreet said there was no rust in the squad despite the extended time away from the game and that they would look to regain their confidence with a good performance against South Africa. .

“I don’t think we were feeling any rust, we are very excited, I know it’s a long break, sometimes things are not in your control. I hope we have a great tournament, ”she said.

“Every tournament is important, and definitely South Africa is a team that has done very well in recent years and for the tournaments to come, it is an advantage for us to play well against them and to regain our confidence because we let’s play after a long time. time.”

When asked if the team entered the series with an unstable team, Harmanpreet said, “Before this series we had 4-5 days to define our combinations. We had open nets, we tried a few combinations. Before the first game, we’ll sort out what needs to be fixed.

“We’ll see how we’re going to do it, what to do with our batting and bowling lineup, how to define our game lineup.”

Harmanpreet will complete a century of ODI on Sunday and she said that will only motivate her to do better.

“I didn’t know it (100th ODI). I’ll be very excited because first of all we play after a long time and then it’s my 100th ODI so both things will give me a lot of energy to play and I hope to do well ”, she said. declared.

“If I speak as a person, I have learned a lot (over the past decade). I saw a lot of ups and downs, when I was in a good frame of mind I played good cricket, sometimes the form was here and there. Whatever experience I have I want to share it with my team and hope it will help my team deal with the fall. “

Harmanpreet hasn’t been able to score fifty in any format in the last 10 games since February of last year.

“As a player, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t played cricket for a long time, but you want to play for the team whenever you get the chance,” she says.

Asked if this break would be a loss for Indian women’s cricket to Australia and England, who play regularly, Harmanpreet said: “It was a long break but sometimes things don’t. not under your control now we can play cricket and we have to make sure we use that time and make our best combination and get ready for the tournaments to come. “

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