On Day 2 of the pink ball Test between India and Australia, India added 144 runs in 57-odd overs to their overnight score of 132. In the process, India lost four wickets and at stumps on Day 2, the scoreboard read 276-5.
To discuss more on Day 2 of the India-Australia Test, Female Cricket Live had Soniya Dabir and Sharadha Sridharan.
Day 2 started on an exciting note as Ellyse Perry was able to get Smriti Mandhana’s (80) wicket. Unfortunately, when the umpires went up to check the catch, it was found that Perry had bowled a no-ball. Mandhana went on to add another 47 runs as she scored 127 to be finally dismissed. Soniya said, “Smriti was playing brilliantly. She could have capitalized more on that chance which the Aussies gave her.”
Mandhana and Punam Raut put together 102 runs for the second wicket, however that came in around 44 long overs. The scoring rate had dipped, which may have compelled Mandhana to go for that shot, which led to her dismissal. Sharadha said, “It may not be the direct cause, but yes, it could be one of the reasons for Smriti going for that attacking shot. The wicket was conducive for batting. Punam could have rotated the strike better. Punam played some good-looking shots but they went straight to the fielders.”
In the 81st over, Punam was dismissed by Sophie Molineux. While trying to defend the ball, Punam got a faint edge that went straight to wicket-keeper Alyssa Healy. Though the umpire adjudged her not out, Punam, exhibiting great sportswoman spirit, walked off. Soniya said, “To do what Punam did, you need a lot of guts. Given that she was not a part of the playing XI in the ODIs, I am sure she would have loved to play a bigger inning. In the hindsight, yes, it was amazing to see Punam playing her game with so much honesty. Respect to Punam Raut for this.”
Smriti Mandhana has her say on Punam Raut’s dismissal.
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Mithali Raj came in at number 4. She looked good during her innings of 30, unfortunately, she was run out. This was the second time in the series that she was run out. Sharadha said, “I think there was no need for that run, given that it was a Test match. We all know that Mithali Raj and Deepti Sharma are the quickest of runners. Also, the fielder was Annabel Sutherland. We have seen that Sutherland is a brilliant fielder. So, taking her on was risky. However, I don’t feel there is any issue with this pattern of dismissal. She also slipped while turning back, which cost her those crucial seconds to get back to the crease.”
Debutant Yastika Bhatia made her way to the middle. She looked confident as she was scoring runs at ease. However, while trying to play one to the leg side, she mistimed one, and the edge went straight to the gully.
Soniya said, “I think she could have played a little late. The fact that she played early, opened her shoulders, which led to that edge. Overall, I feel Yastika played really well. She carried her ODI form to the Test match. She had no problems in pulling and cutting the ball. She reminded me of Yuvraj Singh, especially her backlift. I wish she could have stayed a bit longer.”
Australia used eight bowlers in the innings, with five seamers and three spinners in their ranks. Sharadha said, “Australia have a brilliant bowling attack. Out of the eight bowlers, I enjoyed watching Annabel Sutherland. She was right on the money for most time. Apart from her, I was impressed with Sophie Molineux and Ashleigh Gardner. I was surprised not to see Ashleigh Gardner coming round the wicket to Smriti Mandhana. She has dismissed Mandhana five times in international cricket. With respect to Molineux, she was brilliant as well. She does not give batters the time to go to back foot and score of her. She varied her pace well too.” Soniya added, “In addition to Sutherland, Molineux, and Gardner, I feel Ellyse Perry and Tahlia McGrath were incredible with the ball. Perry was bowling well with new as well as the semi-new balls. She was coming back to rhythm. Australia have supported her right through the series.”
Day 1 saw 44 overs and Day 2 saw 57 overs. Out of the 200 overs that could have been bowled in two days, only 101 overs were bowled, which means that a complete day of the Test match was lost due to rains. With just two days left in the Test, the result looks bleak. Both the teams will have to fight out of their skins to get a result. Soniya said, “Australia will have to first take those five wickets of India as early as possible. India, on the other hand, will look to score atleast 325 and then declare.” Sharadha added, “India should reach 330 as quickly as possible and then ask Australia to bat. India can bat the first session and then ask Australia to bat just before the twilight hour.”
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