Indian Women set to play only pink-ball test against Australia Women in Australia.
The last few years in women’s cricket, particularly the timespan after the 2017 ODI World Cup, has seen a new dawn as there is a tremendous increase in viewership and fan following for women’s cricket across the globe.
Cricket fans started to follow women’s cricket at the international and franchise levels mainly in the limited over formats, whereas Tests are still a rare sight for the ardent followers of the game.
Harmanpreet Kaur has been ruled out of the Carrara Oval Test as she has not yet recovered from a thumb injury, India captain Mithali Raj confirmed on the eve of the Only Test. Kaur had also missed out participating in the three-match ODI series preceding the Carrara Oval Test due to the same reason
Mithali Raj said on the eve of the Test, "Playing Tests at home would also be quite significant because we would have the advantage and the girls would also get the experience of playing a Test at home," Raj said. "Most of the girls in the current squad have toured abroad, been part of the 2014 Test in England and the last Test in England, so I think most of them have played Test matches abroad, so it would be nice to have a Test even at home."
India Women Starting XI - Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Mithali Raj (C), Yastika Bhatia, Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Pooja Vastrakar, Jhulan Goswami, Meghna Singh, Shikha Pandey
Bench: Ekta Bisht, Jemimah Rodrigues, Richa Ghosh
Australia Women Starting XI - Beth Mooney, Alyssa Healy (wk), Meg Lanning (C), Ellyse Perry, Ashleigh Gardner, Tahlia McGrath, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham, Sophie Molineux, Darcie Brown, Stella Campbell
Bench: Georgia Redmayne, Stella Campbell, Maitlan Brown
Head to Head Record
India and Australia have faced each other nine times in the longest format of cricket. Australia has won four Tests of those nine, however, India have never managed to win any Test against Australia in their last 45 years of Test history. Five Tests between these two cricket giants resulted in draw.
India last played against Australia in this four-day format way back in 2006 in Adelaide, which Australia won by an innings and four runs. The interesting thing is that no current Australian cricketer was part of that Test win, whereas India’s skipper Mithali Raj and premier speedster Jhulan Goswami were part of that Test loss against Aussies.
Best Performers for India in Test History
In 45 years of India’s Test history, several talented cricketers exhibited astounding performances. Let's have a look at the top performers in India’s Test history.
Former India skipper Sandhya Agarwal leads the chart with 1,110 runs at a atunning average of 50.45
Former India captain Sandhya Agarwal is the highest run-scorer for India in Test cricket. She scored 1,110 runs in just 13 Tests at a staggering average of 50.45. She struck four centuries and the same number of fifties in Test cricket. She also put up a mammoth knock of 190 runs against England in Worcester in 1986.
Former India skipper Shantha Rangaswamy follows Agarwal in the top run-scorers list. She has registered a tally of 750 runs in 16 Tests, comprising of one century and six half-centuries. Former India skipper and cricket administrator Shubhangi Kulkarni also amassed 700 runs in Test cricket at an average of 23.33.
Current India skipper Mithali Raj is considered the greatest batter of women’s cricket history as she has piled up the highest number of runs in international cricket across formats (10,424). She aggregates 669 runs in 11 Test appearances with a remarkable average of 44.6 studded with one ton and four fifties. Also, she is the only Indian to score a double century in Tests, as she hammered an astronomical knock of 214 runs against England in Taunton in 2002.
Former India cricketer Gargi Banerjee completes the top five with 614 runs in 12 Test matches comprising of six half-centuries.
Former India skipper and tweaker Diana Edulji leads the list with 63 wickets at 25.77 apiece
If we have a look at the top wicket-takers in Test cricket among India players, we can see that former India skipper and slow left-arm orthodox bowler Diana Edulji scalped 63 wickets in 20 Test matches at an impressive average of 25.77 and a strike rate of 80.9. She bagged one five wicket-haul in her Test career.
Leg-break bowler Shubhangi Kulkarni, who is also one of the top run-scorers in India’s Test history, finds a spot in the top wicket-takers table as well. She snared 60 wickets in just 19 Tests at an average of 27.45 and a healthy strike rate of 55.3. She bagged five fifers in her Test career.
Indian right-arm medium pacer Jhulan Goswami has taken 41 wickets in 11 Tests at an exceptional average of 18.9 and a strike rate of 64.9. She has three Test fifers to her name along with one ten wicket-haul which happens to be the solitary ten-wicket haul for an India bowler in Tests. India will go confidently in the upcoming Test against Australia as Jhulan will lead their pace attack in this match.
Former left-arm spinner Neetu David and right-arm medium pacer Shashi Gupta complete the top five with 41 and 25 wickets to their names in Test cricket respectively.
What to expect
This will be the first day-night Test for the Indian team. Scores of cricket followers are eagerly anticipating the start of this Test match to see astounding performances from the best cricketers of this generation like Mithali Raj, Ellyse Perry, Smriti Mandhana, Jhulan Goswami, Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning.
India’s batters will have to play cautiously against the pink ball as they are not familiar with that. The Australian contingent is struggling from injuries to their bowlers. Ellyse Perry, who is known as one of greatest all-rounders of the game, will likely take the new ball in the upcoming Test for Australia.
Pitch and conditions
There is forecast of rain on the first two days of the Test which can disappoint cricket fans, who are waiting for this exciting Test match. Cricket fans will hope that rain will stay away from Carrara Oval in this four-day game to enable a result.
The Test begins at 10:00 hours IST.