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Facing Mohammed Shami For The First Time, Smriti Mandhana Remained In Pain For 10 Days Post Getting Hit On Inner Thigh

Gurpreet Singh
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Facing Mohammed Shami For The First Time, Smriti Mandhana Remained In Pain For 10 Days Post Getting Hit On Inner Thigh

One would hardly come across news articles or videos of Women batters facing Men pacers in domestic cricket or otherwise. However, India Women’s vice-captain Smriti Mandhana had to once bear the brunt of facing Indian Men’s fast bowler Mohammed Shami when the latter was hurling not-so-quick deliveries by his standards in the nets.

This is not to put a question mark on Mandhana’s or, for that matter, any of the other Women batter’s level of skill, which is right up there alongside their male counterparts. However, the basic biological difference between the two sexes makes it challenging for Women players to face the Men playing the same level of cricket. Be it the pace of fast bowling or the distance covered while hitting sixes, the difference is quite obvious.

Australia’s star wicket-keeper batter Alyssa Healy, wife of pacer Mitchell Starc, had once admitted that she is pretty afraid of facing her husband in the nets when he’s bowling at full pace.

Facing Mohammed Shami For The First Time, Smriti Mandhana Remained In Pain For 10 Days Post Getting Hit On Inner Thigh

Similarly, despite bowling somewhere around the 120 km/h mark, Mohammed Shami’s deliveries seemed to be pretty quick for Smriti Mandhana. While the speed might be considered below average for a fast bowler in Men’s international cricket, not many Women’s international pacers can bowl in that speed range. Mandhana, thus, was clearly not used to the pace.

During an interaction with teammate Jemimah Rodrigues and current India captain Rohit Sharma around three years ago, Mandhana revealed how she had an opportunity to face Shami in the nets when the latter was undergoing a rehab management. While she did not reveal the year or venue, their meeting is likely to have taken place at the National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru.

The 27-year-old disclosed how Shami had promised her to bowl only medium-paced deliveries. Also, he won’t bowl at her body, but at the channel outside the off-stump. After getting beaten on a few occasions, an incoming delivery hit the inner part of her left thigh. Mandhana revealed that the ball had literally beaten her black and blue, and the colour of the bruise kept changing shades until about 10 days.

“Two-three balls I got beaten up because I’m not used to that pace – hona hi hai. And then the third ball he hit on my inner thigh, and 10 din tak I think vo black se blue, blue se green, I think har colour change hua tha! [Two-three balls, I got beaten up because I’m not used to that pace – it had to happen. And then the third ball, he hit on my inner thigh, and for around 10 days, the colour of the wound would change from black to blue, then blue to green!].”

“Stop Bowling Bouncers In The Nets” – Rohit Sharma To Mohammed Shami

Post Mandhana completed narrating the Shami incident, Rohit Sharma remarked how the latter always has this tendency to bowl bouncers in the nets, and not treating it akin a practice session. He went on to mention how the batters in the team have repeatedly requested Shami to not bowl bouncers while in the nets, but his competitive side always tells him to not pay heed to their behest.

Rohit even went on to term Shami as the toughest bowler he has had to face in the nets. Explaining the reason, the 33-year-old player had stated that since most of the pitches in the nets are green tops, Shami loves to trouble the batters with his range of skills.

In fact, when he is bowling along with Jasprit Bumrah, the intensity of bowling goes a notch-up as the two engage themselves in a competition of “Who manages to beat the batters the most”.

About the author

Gurpreet Singh

Gurpreet Singh

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Gurpreet Singh is a Cricket writer at The Sportsrush. His platonic relationship with sports had always been there since childhood, but Cricket managed to strike a special, intimate nerve of his heart. Although his initial dream of playing the sport at the highest level couldn't come to fruition, Gurpreet did represent the state of Jharkhand at the under-14 level. However, almost like taking a pledge to never let the undying passion for Cricket fade away even a tad, he made sure to continue the love relationship by assigning the field of journalism as an indirect Cupid. He thus, first finished his bachelor's in journalism and then pursued the PG Diploma course in English journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC). Soon after and since 2019, he has been working at The Sportsrush. Apart from sports, he takes keen interest in politics, and in understanding women and gender-related issues.

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