Harmanpreet Kaur, India’s longer-format vice-captain, has been ruled out of the first ODI against Australia, which is set to take place in Mackay on Tuesday. According to head coach Ramesh Powar, she had a thumb injury a few days ago and a decision on her availability for the second ODI would be made in due time.

“She was found to be healthy and was chosen for this tour, but due to a hit on the thumb a few days ago, she will be unavailable for the first ODI”,Powar remarked. “At the next ODI, we’ll make a decision based on her pain management and fitness management.”

Harmanpreet did not play in the warm-up game on Saturday (September 18). Due to a quadriceps injury, her time at The Hundred came to an end early. She travelled to Bangalore with four other tournament returnees for preparatory training and a seven-day quarantine before flying to Australia.

Uncapped Yastika Bhatia, Jemimah Rodrigues, and Punam Raut are among the frontrunners for Harmanpreet’s spot in the side. Yastika, who can also keep, is the only one of the three who has played the warm-up, making an amazing 42-ball 41, and she is likely to beat Rodrigues and Raut to the vacant position.

Australia is a dangerous opponent, with a world-record winning run in One-Day Internationals. India is aware of the difficulty they face, but is confident that they have adequately prepared for it. While India’s primary focus is on the present series, the captain and coach are looking to establish a performance pattern that would benefit them in the long run, particularly with the ODI World Cup in March-April.

India and Australia will compete in a seven-match multi-format series. Following the three One-Day Internationals, a pink-ball Test and three T20 Internationals will be played (T20I).