Shikha’s omission a tough call but she is not dropped: Harmanpreet

Lucknow, Mar 05 (PTI): Indian women’s ODI team vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur on Friday said it was a “tough call” to leave veteran pacer Shikha Pandey out of the upcoming limited-overs series against South Africa and insisted that she has not been dropped for good.
The Indian women’s team will play five ODIs and three T20Is against South Africa, starting here on 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 quite a flutter. She was the India’s second highest wicket-taker in their previous assignment — the T20 World Cup.
“I know it was a tough call, sometimes, you need to give chance to other players,” said Harmanpreet, who is the captain of India’s T20 team, during a virtual press conference ahead of the first ODI on Sunday. “She is not dropped…sometimes you need to take chances, after this tournament we will be able to settle our combination as we have a lot of cricket coming up in next 2-3 years.”
The 31-year-old Pandey has played 52 ODIs and 50 T20 Internationals for India, taking 73 and 36 wickets respectively.
Talking about the upcoming series, Harmanpreet said there is no rustiness in the side despite the prolonged time away from the game and they will look to regain their confidence with a good performance against South Africa.
“I don’t think we are feeling any rustiness, we are very exited, I know it is a long break, sometimes things are not in your control. I hope we will have a great tournament,” she said.
“Every tournament is important, and definitely South Africa is one team which has done very well in last couple of years and for upcoming tournaments, it is an advantage for us to play well against them and regain our confidence since we are playing after a long time.”
Asked if the team is going into the series with an unsettled squad, Harmanpreet said: “Before this series, we got 4-5 days to set our combinations. We had open nets, we tried some combinations. Before the first game, we will fix what needs to be fixed.
“We will see how we will go about things, what to do with our batting and bowling line up, how to set our playing XI.”

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