The Indian women’s cricket team secured a memorable draw in the one-off Test against England at the Bristol County Ground on Saturday, June 19.
The Mithali Raj-led side had handed debuts to five cricketers who all played an important role in saving the Test from the jaws of defeat. Here are the contributions of the five debutants during the epic England-India women Test:
The 21-year-old pacer had a decent outing on her Test debut as she gave India their first breakthrough of the match, picking the wicket of England opener Lauren Winfield Hill. The girl from Madhya Pradesh even contributed with the bat lower down the order. Pooja scored 12 runs in India’s first innings to help the team reduce England’s lead and further added another 12 runs on the board in the second innings to help India save the one-off Test.
Taniya Bhatia showed why she is regarded as the best wicket-keeper in India. The 23-year-old wicket-keeper batter had a brilliant game behind the stumps but what surprised everyone was her batting prowess. After being dismissed for a duck in the first innings, Taniya was sent to bat at number 10 in the second innings. Showing her incredible temperament, Taniya stitched a match-saving 104-run partnership with Sneh Rana which earned praise from several Indian cricketers and fans. She remained unbeaten on 44 having faced 88 deliveries in India’s second innings.
Deepti Sharma produced an outstanding all-around performance in the one-off Test against England. The 23-year-old bowled exceptionally in England’s first innings to claim three wickets having bowled 27 overs. She followed it up by scoring an unbeaten 29 in India’s first innings. Deepti was later promoted to number three in the second innings and she responded by scoring her maiden Test fifty.
Sneh Rana was undoubtedly one of the standout performers for India in the recently-concluded Test. The Dehradun-born cricketer became the first Indian woman and fourth overall to manage a 50+ score and a 4+ wicket haul on Test debut. Her classical off-spin bowling helped her bag four wickets in the first innings. Later in the Test, Rana remained unbeaten on 80 off 154 balls in India’s second innings to help her side script an epic draw against the hosts.
The 17-year-old took the internet by storm after she became the first Indian woman and fourth overall to record fifties in both innings on Test debut (96 and 63).
Interestingly, Shafali is now just the second Indian cricketer after legend Sachin Tendulkar to register two 50+ scores in the same match at the age of 17. The swashbuckling opening batter was adjudged Player of the Match in the one-off Test against England. Shafali also broke a 26-year-old record by registering the highest score by an Indian women’s cricket team batter on Test debut. The previous record belonged to Chanderkanta Kaul who had scored 75 against New Zealand in Nelson in 1995.
Featured photo: Twitter/BCCIWomen