CHRISTCHURCH: Star opener Smriti Mandhana suffered an injury scare ahead of the women's ODI World Cup after being hit on the head during India's first warm-up match against South Africa here on Sunday.
The left-handed batter retired hurt after copping a nasty blow on her helmet in the early stages of the game in Rangiora. According to a report on the ICC website, it was a bouncer from South African fast bowler Shabnim Ismail who hit her, leaving Mandhana visibly shaken.
The 25-year-old Mandhana was assessed by the team doctor after the incident and was initially deemed fit to continue, only to retire hurt an over and a half later following another consultation. According to the medical staff, she didn't feel any initial concussion symptoms but left the ground as a precautionary measure. She did not take the field at the start of South Africa's innings.
Mandhana, who played only the last two ODIs against New Zealand after being in extended quarantine, is a vital cog in India's ODI side and is expected to play a key role in the World Cup which gets underway on Friday. The Mumbaikar ranked 8th in ICC women's ODI player rankings, has scored 2461 runs in 64 ODIs at an average of 41.71. She had hit 71 off 84 balls in the final ODI to deny the White Ferns a whitewash in the five-match series.