Indian women’s skipper Mithali Raj has expressed that the pink-ball clash against Australia at the WACA later his year would add another dimension to women’s cricket. While stating that their primary focus would be on the England series, she batted for the inclusion of more Tests in the calendar.
Unlike men’s cricket, Tests are far and less in between one another in women’s cricket, with India’s last Test series coming in 2014. Since 2014, the Indian women’s team have only played in the shorter version of the game around the world before the longest format returned. India are all set to face England in a one-off Test next month with another Test scheduled against Australia later this year.
Last time around too in 2014, the women’s team had played two Tests, emerging as the winners in both the Tests. Well ahead of the pink-ball clash, Indian skipper Mithali Raj expressed her delight over the schedule, citing that the day-night clash will add another dimension to women’s cricket. It would be India’s first pink-ball clash in women’s cricket, with Australia earlier facing England in a similar contest in Sydney.
“It will be historic. I was thrilled to know we got another Test, and then we’ve never played with pink-ball at night. It will add another dimension to women’s cricket, and hopefully this can continue. I never thought I would get to play the pink-ball Test. We have also not played much cricket at the Western Australia Cricket Association ground in Perth. We’ve seen a lot of men’s and women’s teams play pink-ball Tests. A new chapter will start for us,” Mithali told Hindustan Times.
Alongside that, the veteran batter also cited that Test matches should be made a regular feature in women’s cricket, with the passionate following all over the world. As many as three players could very well make their debut in the Test against England, which allows for them to get the exposure in the longest format.
“It is a way forward, getting a Test after a long gap. It is nice to include it in a bilateral series. In fact, more Tests should be played, they must be made a regular feature. Women’s cricket is followed passionately throughout the world now and generates interest. So, why not have Test cricket back? It is very good for the players to get this sort of exposure,” she added.
“If Test cricket becomes a regular feature, I am sure BCCI would re-think on this and start a red-ball tournament. Right now, I am thinking more about the England tour. The pink-ball Test is still (a few months) away. BCCI will definitely chalk out a strategy to help players get used to pink-ball cricket ahead of Australia.”
Mithali once again expressed that the past has been brushed aside and hoped that she could work well in tandem with the re-appointed Ramesh Powar, for one of India’s crucial years in women’s cricket.
“I don’t dwell in the past. I did meet him and we talked about the tour and team combinations. We have to work as a team along with other coaching staff and see the players do well for the country. My job is to see the team does well and we fare well in the ODI World Cup and finish as winners. Whatever has happened is in the past. I am thinking about future assignments, winning,” she concluded.