Test matches are rare in women’s cricket. Day/Night Tests are rarer.
The Indian women’s team is all set to play its first ever game with a pink ball. Talking to reporters on the eve of the one-off Test against Australia at Carrara, captain Mithali Raj said her team was in a confident frame of mind after the ODI series.
Though India lost the three-match series 1-2, it ended Australia’s streak of 26 ODI wins. “I am confident, the girls are confident,” Mithali told reporters. “The bowlers seem to be very confident because they did a very good job in the ODI series.”
She admitted the Test match was a different matter. “But it gives equal opportunity to the seamers, the spinners and the batters,” the skipper said.
This is also going to be the first-ever experience of playing on a dropped-in pitch for the Indian women’s team. “There is a fair amount of grass on the wicket,” Mithali said. “Everybody would want to go with a lot of seamers.”
She is happy with the way the Indian seamers have performed on the tour. “This should be one of the best fast bowling attacks India has (had),” she said, referring to the experienced Jhulan Goswami and youngsters Meghna Singh and Pooja Vastrakar.
She confirmed that the injured batter Harmanpreet Kaur wasn’t available for selection.
Mithali’s counterpart Meg Lanning said playing against India in a Test would be exciting. “Hopefully it’s not just a one-off,” the Australian captain said. “(We hope) we can go and play a Test match in India over the next few years.”
The teams (from):
India: Mithali Raj (Capt.), Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Punam Raut, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana, Yastika Bhatia, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Shikha Pandey, Jhulan Goswami, Meghna Singh, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Richa Ghosh, and Ekta Bisht.
Australia: Meg Lanning (Capt.), Darcie Brown, Maitlan Brown, Stella Campbell, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Georgia Redmayne, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, and Georgia Wareham.
Match starts at 10 a.m. IST.
- This will be the second day-night women’s Test
- The only other Pink ball Test was played between Australia and England in Sydney in 2017
- Australia’s Ellyse Perry scored a double hundred in the drawn match
It’s really exciting, India obviously is a great cricketing nation, they love their cricket and to have them playing a Test match is exciting: Lanning
I am quite curious to see around that period (twilight) when they say that it’s going to be a little difficult: Mithali
“To be very honest. I don’t have the experience of playing with pink ball. It is going to be my first experience as well. I am quite curious to see around that period (twilight) when they say that it’s going to be a little difficult. I can only say, when I experience it,” said Mithali ahead of the landmark fixture.
The pink ball, which has an extra coating of lacquer for retaining shine and visibility, tends to skid more than the red ball and moves a lot under lights. Though India lost the preceding ODI series 1-2, they were able to break Australia’s 26-match winning steak and fought hard in the second and third game.