After a power-packed day one of the Test matches between India and England, Female Cricket got in touch with Jaya Sharma and Suman Sharma to discuss the first day of play and also what could be the potential happenings going into day two of the one-off Test match.
Jaya Sharma applauded India’s bowling effort and said, “Though we were down in the first two sessions, we made a good comeback in the final session of play. The spinning duo of Deepti Sharma and Sneha Rana wreaked havoc with the ball as they picked up five out of the six wickets that fell on day one.”
Suman Sharma acknowledged England’s batting effort. She said, “England started off really well. The opening pair of Tammy Beaumont and Lauren Winfield-Hill provided a solid start to England. They put pressure on the Indian bowlers. After the fall of Winfield-Hill, England captain Heather Knight played a solid inning and tagged along with Natalie Sciver to dominate the opposition bowling.”
Winfiled-Hill was dropped early on and after that, the England batters looked to settle. Jaya said, “That was an important chance missed. We gave the opening pair time to settle. Apart from that, I feel that the length we bowled was not up to the mark. We were guilty of bowling short. We gave them the balls in the areas of their strength.”
Suman added, “We did not bowl to our field. We had slips and gully in place, but our bowlers were bowling short, which the English batters delightfully punished.”
On being asked whether Jhulan Goswami was over bowled, Suman said, “I don’t think she was overbowled. I have seen her bowling for hours at the same spot. She is a true legend. She is our team’s bhishmapitama, she can carry the burden of the entire team on her shoulders. Her work ethics are incredible.”
Jaya added, “She is Jhulan Goswami. She can bowl for hours. Whenever you want to get a breakthrough you bowl Jhulan I think that is why Mithali was bowling her more.”
With respect to the fielding, Jaya said, “We were good in patches. Our close-in fielding was good, apart from that one missed chance from Smriti. But deep fielding is a concern for me.” Taniya Bhatia, who held on to a wonderful catch getting rid of Winfield-Hill, Suman appreciated her effort. Suman said, “There is no doubt that Taniya is a good wicket-keeper. She is not afraid to stand up to the stumps. She is quick, she is agile, and she is excellent with her glove work.”
With India expected to bat today, talking about the batting strategy, Jaya said, “We have a solid batting lineup. It is important for the openers Shafali and Smriti to start well and provide a launchpad for the batters to follow.” Suman added, “We have to take it ball by ball. Both our openers are aggressive so it will be interesting to see how they mix aggression with patience. We have experienced batters like Mithali and Punam, who are capable of playing long innings. Overall we have a good batting line up.”
England finished day one with 269-6, with Heather Knight top-scoring with 95 and for India, Sneh Rana was the top wicket-taker with three scalps.
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I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.