Aus W vs Ind W: Focus on Shafali, Mithali as visitors gear up for first pink-ball Test

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Shafali Verma (Photo/ ICC Twitter)
Shafali Verma (Photo/ ICC Twitter)

Queensland [Brisbane], September 29 (ANI): In a historic first, India women will play their first-ever pink-ball Test against Australia, beginning Thursday and the focus remains on how the batters will adjust to the moving ball in twilight conditions.

The pink ball tends to skid more and it moves a lot under lights, and hence it would be interesting to see how the opening batters Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma adjust to the conditions.

Mithali Raj's side will enter the Test with some momentum behind them as they were able to break Australia's 26-match unbeaten run in ODIs after defeating the hosts in the final ODI by two wickets.

Earlier this year, India had played their first Test in almost seven years, and owing to heroics by Sneh Rana, Mithali's side was able to walk away with a famous draw.

India and Australia had last played a Test in 2006 and 15 years later, both sides now find themselves on the cusp of playing a Test under lights.

Australia has a potent pace attack and they are likely to trouble the Indian batters so it would be interesting to see whether the visiting camp has it in them to grind it out and play out a few tough hours on the pitch.

Harmanpreet Kaur had missed the ODI series due to an injury and it is not known whether she will play the Test or not. So in absence of an experienced middle-order, Mithali Raj once again holds the key. Deepti Sharma performed nicely in the Test against England, and hence she would look to continue with her form in the longest format.

Jhulan Goswami is coming off a Player of the Match performance in the third ODI so she would enter the pink-ball contest with high confidence and it needs to be seen whether the likes of Meghna Singh, Pooja Vastrakar and Shikha Pandey are able to provide her with desired support at the other end.

Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Darcie Brown, Maitlan Brown, Stella Campbell, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Georgia Redmayne, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham.

India Test and ODI squad: Mithali Raj (c), Harmanpreet Kaur (vc), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Punam Raut, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana, Yastika Bhatia, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Shikha Pandey, Jhulan Goswami, Meghna Singh, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Richa Ghosh, Ekta Bisht. (ANI)

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