As team India gear up to play their first Test against England, as well as the Test against Australia, team India skipper Mithali Raj is hopeful that at this pace the women cricket might also see a World Test Championship.
Mithali Raj also looks forward to the addition of the longer format to the bilateral series, and said that she hoped this lead to the start of a World Test Championship in women’s cricket.
“I feel that this Test match and the one in Australia is a beginning of having a three format bilateral series. It opens channels for another format in a bilateral series, it increases standard of women’s cricket. All cricketers want to play the longer format, it’s good to have it,” Mithali said in a press conference.
“Maybe in the coming years, it might also lead to a World Test Championship. You never know, this is just the beginning.”
India is all set to play the first their first Test since 2014. They played their last Test against South Africa in 2014 in Mysore.
The India skipper also gave some sneak peek of the preparation for their upcoming Test against England and said they are practicing in white uniform so the players don’t feel overwhelmed to walk in the ground for their first time.
“We did brief them (youngsters) about how this format is played. You don’t want to burden the debutants with expectations, the team will support them on the field. They should just enjoy the format.
“One thing is that there were a few sessions we have in whites so that the girls don’t overwhelm walking in whites into the ground for the first time. We tried getting the feel to the net session so that it doesn’t feel alien to the girls.
“He (Ramesh Powar, the coach) got seniors to speak to the juniors who have lesser experience. Such communication helps the team prepare for the Test.
Mithali Raj played her first Test in 1999, and has only played in 11 Test so far because of very few Test cricket organized for the women team.
“From the last Test, it’s been 7 years. It has been all white-ball cricket, and all players have faced the white ball. It comes down to the mindset. We’ve tried to get in as many red-ball sessions as we can in the last week. At the end of the day, it’s the mindset that matters. It would be wrong to say it won’t be challenging.”
England and India will square up against each other in one off Test from 16th to 20th June 2021. Both teams last played a Test in 2014, which India won by 6 wickets. After the conclusion of the Test match, both teams will square off against each other in three ODIs and as many T20s between 27th June and 15th July 2021.
IND vs ENG: India squad
India’s squad for Test and ODIs: Mithali Raj (captain), Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), Punam Raut, Priya Punia, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Sneh Rana, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Indrani Roy (wicket-keeper), Jhulan Goswami, Arundhati Reddy, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav.
India’s squad for T20Is: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain) Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Richa Ghosh, Harleen Deol, Sneh Rana, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Indrani Roy (wicket-keeper), Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav, Simaran Dil Bahadur.