The Indian women’s cricket team has to play a historic day-night Test match against Australia in Queensland with pink ball from Thursday. The visiting team has only two days to get acquainted with the pink ball before the first day-night Test match. Ahead of the match, starting on Thursday in the Gold Coast, Indian captain Mithali Raj confirmed that her team practiced with the pink ball for the first time on Tuesday. Mithali said in the virtual press conference on Wednesday, ‘We participated in a practice session with the pink ball for the first time yesterday. It was a new experience for everyone as we are not so used to playing this ball. The first thought that comes when playing this ball is that this ball moves a lot.
ESPNcricinfo, in its stump mic event on Tuesday, reported how the Indian team did not practice with the pink ball at their two-week training camp in Bengaluru before leaving for Australia for this multi-format series. Although two intra-squad matches were held under lights at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium and the players took part in at least one evening training session, which included fielding drills, the pink ball was nowhere to be seen in that camp. Mithali said, ‘In that camp we were preparing for the ODI series, so our focus was on practicing with the white ball. Also we played a few matches under floodlights so that we could prepare ourselves for a day-night Test and a day-night match of the ODI series.
The pink ball Test against Australia is the second Test match of the Indian women’s team this year. He had drawn a red-ball Test match against England in June. Like those series, in this multi-format series too, teams will get two points each for winning Test matches and drawing four, while they will be given two points for winning every ODI and T20 match. The Test match against England came after a long gap of seven years. Moreover, domestic cricket has only hosted ODI and T20 matches for women since the 2018.19 season.
“If we want the women’s team to do well in this format, then we have to give them the experience of playing longer formats at the domestic level,” the captain said. If similarly the Test matches are organized at frequent intervals, then perhaps multi-day tournaments will start in domestic cricket as well. Despite the lack of practice with the pink ball, Mithali is confident of her players that she will do well. He said that there is a lot of confidence in the team after performing well in the ODIs.